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|Delany, Samuel R
This Stonewall Book Award-winning novel traces the life and unrealized dreams of Arnold Hawley, a homosexual African-American poet. Albert's poetry ultimately meets with modest acclaim but only after decades of striving. Romance and friendship are likewise elusive, despite an impulsive marriage to a stranger. His outsider status -- black, gay, and a poet -- compounds his struggles to create art, to find a readership, and to lead a meaningful existence.
Beautifully written in reverse chronological order, the story opens with Albert's lonely old age and ventures back in time to his arrival in New York City of the 1950s. A meditation on isolation and sexual repression, Dark Reflections also offers an acerbic look at the literary world and the frustrations intrinsic to artistic life.