Dodie Bellamy & Sam D’Allesandro Real: The Letters of Mina Harker and Sam D’Allesandro

bellamyPaper 1-883689-16-3, $10.95
Cloth 1-883689-17-1, $30.95
115 pages

A major contribution to the record of life in a world devastated by AIDS, Real confirms Dodie
Bellamy’s reputation as one of out most exciting younger writers. And it also confirms that with
Sam D’Allesandro’s death American literature lost a writer of exceptional talent.

I miss Sam. I was drawn to him–then close up his beauty seemed so large it scared
me away.His was the death that most diminishes my own corner of the writing world, and
I hope this book helps to establish his cult. His palm print is visible in the halting, desolate
story that was transcribed for Real.

Although Dodie was leading “in competition for grossout–but that’s such a yawn since
being female all the cards are stacked on my side,” in the end Sam won for shock and
extremity–he died. Dodie’s last letter (1993) is a homage to him (“To look as precisely as
possible at the everwavering presence…”) and a series of inventions on mortality in the time
of AIDS. The prose is pitched so high it’s thrilling. The letter is a summit of writing on sex
and death, a garden in which the void prospers. “Sam, I never dreamed that playing dead
could make you feel so alive.”

–from the preface by Robert Gluck

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