Bread & Wine: An Erotic Tale of New York

Samuel R. Delany, Author, Mia Wolff, Illustrator, Alan Moore, Introduction by Juno Books $14.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-890451-02-8
Unusually touching, this comics memoir presents the beginnings of an unlikely but loving relationship between Delany (Times Square Red, Forecasts, May 31), a distinguished African-American novelist, essayist and professor, and Dennis, a white homeless man barely scraping by on the streets of Manhattan. Delany first notices Dennis, grime-covered and clad in filthy clothes, around his Upper West Side neighborhood selling used books on the street, his possessions packed in a shopping cart. But beneath the dirt and stink, Dennis is funny, honest and caring--and, like Delany, he is gay. Before long, Delany invites him to share a motel room and then (after much consideration by both of them) to visit him in Massachusetts, where Delany teaches. Told simply and methodically like Delany's 1996 memoir, The Motion of Light in Water, the story is subdued yet acutely emotional. It reaches across the boundaries of race and class--as well as across hilariously opposed standards of personal hygiene--to capture two people in the process of building a life together. Wolff's b&w drawings are awkward, even crudely rendered, but they manage to convey the sincerity and candor of a delightful and eccentric urban love story. (July)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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