by the way...just finished dhalgren yesterday. now i have an urge to hunt down that guy whose conversation with me about delany re-started my interest in the book...and ask him to tell me, please, why it was so important. if you have answers in the meantime, i'd be glad to listen. that was a book whose quality i find myself entirely unable to pinpoint.
samuel r. delany's richly textured, potentially offensive, highly dated, multisexually explicit, poetically dense, racially charged, semi-opaque moebius strip of a novel (though i came to doubt, at times, that "novel" actually described the format i was reading) about a city "at the edge of time." if you love delany, it's worth a shot, i'd say. if you don't already love delany, i'd recommend starting with some of his most acclaimed short fiction, stuff like stars in my pocket like grains of sand or time considered as a helix of semi-precious stones, say. or novels like triton or babel-17.