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The runaway critical and commercial success of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home has paved the way for the re-issue of Bread & Wine. Written by black, gay science-fiction writer, professor, and theorist Samuel R. Delany, and drawn by artist/martial arts instructor Mia Wolff, Bread & Wine is a graphic autobiography that flashes back to the unlikely story of how Delany befriended Dennis, and how they became an enduring couple — Delany, a professor at Philadelphia’s Temple University, Dennis, an intelligent man living on the streets.
For casual readers and fans, Bread & Wine is a moving, sexually charged love story, with visuals informed by Wolff's professional physical pursuits. Her black-and-white pen-and-ink work not only expressionistically represents the characters' "body language" and the bustling New York setting, but is also filled with impish art references and visual puns. The scholarly potential for the book, based on the poem "Bread and Wine" by the German lyric poet Friedrich Holderlin, not only encompasses queer, African-American, and graphic novel studies, but also exploration in the literary and paraliterary academic fields.
This edition includes an introduction by Watchmen writer Alan Moore, commentary by the book’s protagonists, Delany and Dennis, and a new interview with Delany and Wolff.
"The ridiculously brilliant Samuel R. Delany is one of our most important living writers. Delany is a critical and creative colossus and with Bread and Wine he has produced a miniture masterpiece. Profoundly moving and hilariously honest (rotting socks anybody?), Bread and Wine is the kind of love story that renews ones faith in the incadescent power of love. Don't believe love is possible? Read Bread and Wine. Just broke up? Read Bread and Wine. Met someone who spins this fallen world into beauty? Read Bread and Wine — together. What Delany's tender account of his unlikely relationship with the gentle cheerful (and homeless) Dennis underscores is the humanity that love requires but also the humanity that love in turns renders. Backed by Mia Wolff's arresting (and occasionally rapturous) inks Delany's tale of cross-cultural cross-racial cross-class intimacy is a gift of wonder." – Junot Díaz
"Samuel R. Delany is one of the finest living American writers. In this revealing autobiographical love story, told in collaboration with fine artist Mia Wolff, Delany's brilliance shines." – Neil Gaiman
"Wildly eccentric artwork, a storyline that’d make Capote blush... Bread & Wine is smoking-gun proof that comics can go anywhere — and do anything." – Frank Miller
"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." – Publishers Weekly
6-page excerpt (download 1.2 MB PDF):