Catalog 112, A
2. ADAMS, Douglas. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. NY: Simon & Schuster (1987). The book that followed his four-book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "trilogy." This copy is inscribed by the author to Janwillem van der Wetering in the year of publication (although the inscription is without the recipient's name and is signed "Dirk," which shouldn't bother Adams' fans who are capable of great feats of belief): "I have no idea what to/ write to this delightful/ maniac friend of/ mine when I give/ him a book to provide/ pleasure. Maybe I could/ just tell him how much/ I care for him." Van de Wetering, a Dutch writer, wrote a highly praised series of detective novels as well as The Empty Mirror, a memoir of his time studying Zen Buddhism in a monastery in Kyotot, Japan. Small spot to foredge, else fine in a near fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
3. AIKEN, Conrad. Ushant: An Essay. NY: Oxford U. Press, 1971. A reissue of a book first published in 1952 -- an "autobiographical narrative" in experimental prose, defying the conventions of standard autobiography or memoir; the essay is narrated by a character named "D.," who was the main character, Demarest, of Aiken's first novel, Blue Voyage, in 1927. First thus, including a key to the cast of characters and an insert of family photographs. Inscribed by the author to "Jacob," Dr. G.B. Wilbur, one of the characters in the book: "For the one and only/ Jacob/ who was himself/ one of the Ladders/ with love/ from Conrad/ 1971." Annotated and cross-referenced by the recipient. With a "compliments of the author" carded tipped beneath the inscription. Other characters in Aiken's narrative include T.S. Eliot, Malcolm Lowry, Ezra Pound, and others. Fine in a very good, spine-sunned dust jacket worn at the extremities.
4. ALBERTI, Rafael. Pleamar [1942-1944]. Buenos Aires: Editorial Losada (1944). The first edition of this collection of poems by one of Spain's greatest poets, considered the equal of Lorca. Published in Argentina, where the author moved after the Spanish Civil War and the victory of the Fascists under Francisco Franco. Rebound in cloth with leather spine label and original wrappers bound in. This copy is signed by Alberti and his wife, Maria Teresa Leon, and also by Chilean Nobel prize winner, Pablo Neruda -- who served as Chilean consul to Spain during the Spanish Civil War and, like Alberti, had strong sympathies for the Republicans and Communists who lost the war. A wonderful set of literary associations in this volume. Fine.
5. ALGREN, Nelson. The Man with the Golden Arm. Garden City: Doubleday, 1949. The first winner of the National Book Award. Inscribed by the author to Mary Jane Ward, author of The Snake Pit, a powerful novel about a woman's treatment in a mental institution, which was one of the bestselling novels of 1946 and was made into an award-winning movie two years later. A fine copy, bearing Ward's bookplate on the front flyleaf, in a very good dust jacket with a few small edge chips. Algren's novel was itself made into a movie in 1956, for which Frank Sinatra received an Oscar nomination. An excellent association copy, linking Algren's best-known work, a dark tale of drug addiction and the drug culture, with the author of a ground-breaking novel of a woman's fight with mental illness and the oppressive institutions that treated her illness -- a direct precursor to such novels as Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. An uncommon book signed; rare as an association copy of this order.
6. ALLEN, Paula Gunn. Coyote's Daylight Trip. Albuquerque: La Confluencia, 1978. Her second book, a collection of poems published by a small New Mexico publisher. Inscribed by the author in 1985 to Laura Coltelli, a well-known critic of Native American literature and the author of Winged Words, a collection of interviews with Native American writers: a nice association copy. Creasing near the spine folds; near fine in wrappers.
7. AUSTER, Paul. Wall Writing. (Berkeley): The Figures (1976). The second book by this author who gained significant prominence as a result of his series of novels collectively titled "The New York Trilogy," as well as his film work, including the screenplay of Smoke, directed by Wayne Wang, and his work on Blue in the Face, which he co-directed with Wang. This is a collection of poetry published in an edition of 500 copies; this copy is inscribed by the author to the poet Carl Rakosi, "with warmest wishes and friendship." Also signed by Rakosi. Mild edge-sunning and a bit of light staining to the rear cover; near fine in wrappers.