Catalog 153, B

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9. BAKER, Nicholson. The Mezzanine. Cambridge: Granta (1989). The uncorrected proof copy of the first British edition of his highly praised first book, which examines to great effect the minutiae of a few moments in the life of an ordinary office worker. Signed by the author. Very slight spotting to covers and two staple holes to the front edge; near fine in wrappers. An uncommon proof in any country, especially signed.

10. BARKER, Pat. Union Street. (London): Virago (1982). The first novel by the Booker Prize-winning author of the acclaimed Regeneration trilogy, one of the great series of novels of the first World War in English literature. This is the exceedingly scarce hardcover issue of this book, published by a small press started in the 1970s to publish women writers. Even the softcover issue of this title, which follows six working class women in 1970s England, is uncommon. This is an ex-library copy, with a "Sheffield City Libraries" stamp on the copyright page and no other library markings. Foredge a bit dusty; else fine in a fine dust jacket. The only copy of the hardcover issue of this title that we have ever handled.

11. BARKER, Pat. The Century's Daughter. (London): Virago (1986). The hardcover issue of her third novel, the first of her historical novels. Again, a very scarce novel in the first edition, especially in the hardcover issue. Fine in a fine dust jacket.

12. BARNES, Julian. Cross Channel. London: Jonathan Cape (1996). The limited edition of this collection of stories, prepared in honor of Barnes' 50th birthday. One of 50 numbered copies signed by the author. Leatherbound, all edges gilt, with a silk ribbon marker bound in. Fine. Needless to say, quite scarce: two copies appeared at auction the year after it was published, 13 years ago, and none since.

13. BARTH, John. The Sot Weed Factor. Garden City: Doubleday, 1967. The second edition, revised, of his massive third novel, which was first published in 1960 and secured Barth's reputation as one of the leading experimental writers of his generation, and helped set the standard for the postmodern fiction that dominated the 1960s. Inscribed by the author to writer and critic Leslie Fiedler and his family: "For Fiedlers all, with love. Jack." An excellent association copy: Leslie Fiedler taught at SUNY Buffalo in the 1960s when Barth also taught there, both of them part of the "all-star" faculty recruited for the college, and while Barth was one of the preeminent postmodern writers of his time, Fiedler was the preeminent postmodern critic of the day. The two became good friends, and this is thus an excellent literary and personal association copy. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a 1" closed tear to the rear spine fold.

14. BARTH, John. Chimera. NY: Random House (1972). His National Book Award winning novel, a series of three interconnected stories that are ultimately about storytelling itself. Inscribed by the author to critic Leslie Fiedler and his wife: "For Leslie and Sally, from an old accomplice. Jack." Barth and Fiedler were close friends and practically literary superstars at the time: Barth was one of the leading novelists of the postmodern movement that took root in the Sixties, and Fiedler's book Love and Death in the American Novel was one of the most important critical works of the time, deconstructing the notion of the "great American novel" and by doing so helping to redefine the national literature. Fine in a fine dust jacket.

15. BARTH, John. Letters. NY: Putnam (1979). An elaborately constructed epistolary novel. Inscribed by the author in the month prior to publication: "For Bill and Jean, two main characters in our family alphabet. Love, Jack. 9/79." The recipients were poet Bill Sylvester and his wife Jean, who got to know Barth and became close friends in the 1960s when both Sylvester and Barth were teaching at SUNY Buffalo. A nice literary and personal association copy. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some spine-fading, edge wear, and a bit of dampstaining visible on the verso of the spine.

16. BARTH, John. The Friday Book. NY: Putnam (1984). His first book of nonfiction. Inscribed by the author: "For Bill and Jean, affectionately, Jack. 11/84." The recipients were poet Bill Sylvester, who taught with Barth at SUNY Buffalo in the 1960s and became a lifelong friend, and his wife Jean. A touch of fading to the ends of the spine cloth, else fine in a near fine dust jacket creased on the front flap. A nice association copy.

17. BARTH, John. The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor. Boston: Little Brown (1991). Inscribed by the author to writer and critic Leslie Fiedler and his wife, longtime friends of Barth: "For Leslie & Sally, one more voyage, Jack." Fine in a fine dust jacket.

18. -. Another copy. Inscribed by the author: "For Bill & Jean, old shipmates, affectionately, Jack. 2/91." Inscribed to poet Bill Sylvester and his wife; a nice personal and literary association. Mildly cocked with a small spine bump; near fine in a near fine dust jacket with an edge tear at the upper rear spine fold.

19. BARTH, John. Further Fridays. Boston: Little Brown (1995). Inscribed by the author to Leslie Fiedler and his wife, longtime friends and colleagues: "For Leslie & Sally, on with the story, Jack." Fine in a fine dust jacket. A good association copy between one of the important novelists of the postwar period and one of the important critics.

20. BASBANES, Nicholas. A Gentle Madness. NY: Holt (1995). Two copies of his highly praised volume on book collecting and book collectors, which became something of a bestseller, being reprinted numerous times, and was also a National Book Award nominee. The first copy (a second printing) is inscribed by Basbanes to a well-known book collector: "For ____ ____ - a collector of modern firsts whose reputation extends from Michigan across many state borders to New England, with thanks from the author for your interest in this book, and best wishes for many years of happy hunting. Nicholas A. Basbanes/ North Grafton, Mass. 4. XII. 1995." And then there is the do-over copy (a first printing): Inscribed by Basbanes to the same collector, "For ____ ____ - a collector of modern first editions whose taste and determination are the stuff of legend. All best for many years of happy hunting. Nick Basbanes/ North Grafton, Mass. 2.II.1996." Laid in is an autograph note signed by Basbanes to a bookseller: "Even I checked the copyright page this time." Each copy is fine in a fine dust jacket. A nice set of what amount to good association copies between Basbanes, probably the preeminent writer on matters of book collecting in the U.S., and one of the country's premier collectors of modern firsts. A little-known fact about this book is that each of the eight hardcover printings the book went through is textually distinct; there is material in this first printing that was taken out of later printings. For all:

21. (BECKETT, Samuel). KNOWLSON, James. Samuel Beckett: An Exhibition. (London): Turret Books, 1971. The catalog of an exhibition of Beckett's works held at Reading University Library, with a foreword by A.J. Levanthal. Signed by Beckett. There was a signed limited edition of 100 copies; this copy is unnumbered but is signed on the colophon page. Fine in a fine dust jacket but for a sticker removal shadow on the flap price. The jacket was likely supplied, as only the trade editions were issued with jackets.

22. BERGER, Thomas. Little Big Man. NY: Dial, 1964. His most famous novel, a tragicomic history of the American West, which was immortalized on film. Winner of the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters -- given for a work that, while not being a commercial success, is nonetheless a substantial literary achievement. Inscribed by Berger to film director Tony Bill "with admiration and every good wish." A fine copy in a very near fine dust jacket with a small amount of rubbing to the front panel and modest puckering to the spine. One of the nicest copies we've seen, and a good association copy between Berger, whose book was memorably filmed by Arthur Penn in 1970, and Bill, who won an Oscar for producing "The Sting" in 1973.

23. BERRY, Wendell. November Twenty-Six Nineteen Hundred Sixty Three. NY: Braziller (1964). An early book by Berry, who is now well-known as a poet and naturalist and the leading contemporary exponent of agrarian values. This volume comprises a poem and eulogy in honor of President John F. Kennedy and the country's loss at his assassination, written by Berry and with illustrations by Ben Shahn. This is the limited edition (limitation not stated), with a tipped in plate by Shahn and signed by the author and artist. Mild spine sunning; else fine in a fine slipcase.

24. BESTON, Henry. The Outermost House. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran (1928). The author's classic, subtitled "A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod." Beston's book became a beacon for the environmental movement, advocating a reorientation of the relationship between man and nature; its argument for the value of the natural world, in its own right, helped provide the basis for the creation of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Inscribed by the author: "For Miss Leonard with the homage of her friend the Outermost Householder/Henry Beston." A very good copy with a heavily sunned spine and lighter edge-sunning to the boards, and a short tear with a little cloth loss at the spine. Illustrated with photographs by William Bradford and others. An important book, and very uncommon signed or inscribed.

25. BOLAÑO, Roberto. The Savage Detectives. NY: FSG (2007). The advance reading copy of the first American edition of this novel by an expatriate Chilean writer who died at the age of 50, just before his books became worldwide sensations. He became, posthumously, one of the giants of world literature, by most critical estimations. Light splaying to front cover, else fine in wrappers.

26. BOWDEN, Charles. Impact of Energy Development on Water Resources in Arid Lands. Tucson: University of Arizona Office of Arid Lands Studies, 1975. Written by Bowden in his capacity as Research Assistant in the Office of Arid Lands Studies and published as Arid Lands Resource Information Paper No. 6. Precedes his not-unrelated first book, Killing the Hidden Waters, by two years. 278 pages, ringbound in printed orange cardstock covers. Reportedly, one of about 400 copies printed, most of which were earmarked for public officials. The report was never offered publicly for sale. Bowden has become one of the most respected chroniclers of the difficult issues facing the Southwest, not just ecologically but more recently socially as well. He has chronicled the rise of Mexican drug cartels and the impact they've had on the border cities of both Mexico and the U.S. in a way that no other reporter in recent years has attempted. An uncommon, early work by an important contemporary writer. Fine.

27. BOWDEN, Charles. The Charles Bowden Collection of W.E. Bartholomew. The research collection of Bowden's bibliographer, Walt Bartholomew, compiled by Bartholomew for Charles Bowden: A Descriptive Bibliography 1962-2000. The collection is distinguished by its relative completeness, the number of first editions, the number of signed items, the inclusion of unique and scarce manuscript and proof states of items (e.g. manuscripts of Down By the River, A Shadow in the City, and Cafe Blood), and the inclusion of associated ephemeral items. Although the bibliography's end date was 2000, Bartholomew continued his collecting through 2006. 332 items in all, housed in 25 numbered print and document boxes. Full catalog available. Price on request

28. BOYD, William. Protobiography. (London): Bridgewater Press (1998). Three autobiographical essays. Of a total edition of 138 copies, this is one of 12 Roman-numeraled copies bound in quarter Library Calf. Signed by the author. Fine. As far as we know, along with the deluxe issue of A Haunting, this is the scarcest issue of one of his books.

29. BOYD, William. A Haunting. (London): Bridgewater Press (2004). Of a total edition of 138 copies, this is one of 12 Roman-numeraled copies bound in quarter Library Calf, with a signed original drawing by Boyd, tipped in as frontispiece. Signed by the author. Fine.

30. BOYLE, Tom Coraghessan. I Dated Jane Austen. (Augsburg): Marlo Verlag (1997). The first separate appearance of a story that first appeared in the Georgia Review in 1979. One of 500 copies, illustrated with woodcuts by Sophie Dutertre. Fine in self-wrappers, with a one sheet, four-page author/illustrator biographical supplement laid in, also illustrated by Dutertre. This copy is signed by Boyle. Uncommon.

31. BROWN, Larry. Facing the Music. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1988. The uncorrected proof copy of his first book, a collection of stories. Brown, from Mississippi, was the first writer to twice win the Southern Book Award, the major literary award given out by the Southern Book Critics Circle. Inscribed by Brown to Thomas Verich, the Special Collections Archivist at the University of Mississippi: "For Tom Verich/ I'm glad you liked these stories in my first book and I wish you a long and happy life. All best, Larry Brown/ Oxford, MS." A nice association copy. "Due July 5" written on front cover; corner crease; near fine in wrappers. Reportedly, only about 30 copies of the proof were done. A very uncommon book by an author who received wide critical acclaim and was just achieving wide public recognition when he died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 53.

32. BROWN, Larry. From Joe. Chapel Hill: Mud Puppy Press (1990). A limited edition chapbook, consisting of an advance excerpt from his novel Joe. Of a total edition of 126 copies, this is one 26 lettered copies signed by the author. Fine in stapled wrappers and dustwrapper. Together with seven other chapbooks by seven other authors, including Reynolds Price, Kaye Gibbons, Clyde Edgerton, Laurence Naumoff and others, each of which is letter "S" of the 26 lettered copies and is signed by its author. With wraparound band announcing this as a Patron's copy of the Southern Nights Chapbook Series. A fine set.

33. BROWN, Larry. Typed Letter Signed, with Easyriders. January 24, 1993. Written to a collector, on the occasion of signing a copy of Easyriders magazine from June 1982, which includes Brown's story "Plant Growin' Problems" and which is included here, signed. In the letter, Brown states that the 1982 story brings back some memories and he goes on to wish the collector luck finding a galley of Facing the Music ("I've only seen three or four of them) and a Twilight Zone Brown had apparently sold a story to. He also says, "I'm finished with Fire Notes until my editor writes me back and tells me what all's wrong with it." The book, "Fire Notes," was eventually published as On Fire. The letter is signed by Brown. Slightly edge creased; near fine. The magazine Easyriders is also near fine.

34. BROWN, Larry. Billy Ray's Farm. Decatur: Wisteria Press, 1997. A limited edition of a 37-page essay. Of a total edition of 287 copies, this is Copy "B" of 26 lettered copies signed by the author. With original engravings by Barry Moser. Bound in calfskin, with two signed engravings by Moser laid in -- one of them a portrait of Brown and the other one the image used as the frontispiece of the volume -- and housed in an elaborate box handmade by Kannex Fung. Fine. A very attractive production of this essay that was adapted from a talk Brown gave at the 1995 Chattanooga Conference on Southern Literature. The piece was later included in a collection with the same name that was published by Algonquin Books in 2001.

35. BURKE, James Lee. Half of Paradise. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965. The first book by the author of the highly popular, Edgar Award-winning Dave Robicheaux mystery series, among other books. His early books were well-received critically but were seen as "regional" fiction and never enjoyed significant commercial success. His foray into genre fiction earned him high praise as one of the most "literary" of the mystery novelists, and his books soon became instant bestsellers upon publication. Like the Robicheaux books, this is set in the author's home state of Louisiana and is a tale of violence and the quest for redemption, revealing the underpinnings of Burke's later series and his attempt to develop the strands that would define a heroic character in contemporary terms. Signed by the author. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with mild fading and rubbing to the spine. A nice copy of an important first book.

36. BURKE, James Lee. To the Bright and Shining Sun. NY: Scribner (1970). His scarce second book, a novel set among mine workers in the Cumberland mountains of Kentucky. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket with just a tiny nick to the crown.

37. BURKE, James Lee. Lay Down My Sword and Shield. NY: Crowell (1971). The third of Burke's early novels, published by Crowell, who was not well-established as a publisher of fiction. Signed by the author. Small spot to lower rear board, a bit of offsetting to endpages; very near fine in a very near fine dust jacket with just a bit of loss of crispness to the edges.

38. BURKE, James Lee. The Convict. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985. A short story collection, one of the author's scarcest trade books, published prior to Burke's success with the award-winning Dave Robicheaux mystery series. There was a simultaneous softcover issue, which is itself moderately uncommon, but the hardcover issue, of which this is one, is legendary in its scarcity. It has been reported that only 500 copies were bound up in cloth, most of which -- coming as they did from a university press publisher not widely distributed in the book trade -- would have been earmarked directly for libraries. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.

39. BURKE, James Lee. In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead. NY: Hyperion (1993). The limited edition of this Robicheaux mystery. Of a total edition of 176 copies, this is one of 26 lettered copies signed by the author. Quarterbound in leather and marbled paper boards. Fine in a fine cloth slipcase. A very uncommon issue of this title.

40. BURKE, James Lee. Burning Angel. (New Orleans): (B.E. Trice)(1995). The limited edition of this novel in Burke's highly praised and award-winning series featuring Dave Robicheaux. Of a total edition of 176 copies, this is one of 26 lettered copies signed by the author. Fine in a fine slipcase.

41. BURKE, James Lee. Crusader's Cross. Gladestry: Scorpion Press (2005). The deluxe limited edition of this Dave Robicheaux novel. One of 15 lettered copies reserved for private distribution. Signed by the author and by Robert S. Reid, who provides a foreword. Reid's foreword only appears in the deluxe issue of this title. Quarterbound in leather; fine.

42. BURROUGHS, William. "LEE, William." Junkie. Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict. NY: Ace (1953). Burroughs' pseudonymous first book, a paperback original bound back-to-back with Maurice Helbrant's Narcotic Agent. Junkie was a straightforward narrative of Burroughs' experiences with drugs; the publisher chose to release it couched in an anti-drug context, as a first person example of the horrors of drug use, and bound with a narcotic agent's memoir. A couple small spots of rubbing; darkening to page edges, else near fine, with the spine square and no creasing to it. Very uncommon thus.

43. BUSCH, Frederick. Take This Man. NY: FSG (1981). The dedication copy of this novel. Inscribed by Busch to his parents: "July 27, 1981/ Dear Mom and Dad,/ One more try - to do it right's the goal, as usual -- and, as ever, this goes to you with all my love. Fred." The printed dedication reads, "This book is for Benjamin Busch, my father." Busch has written the personal inscription on the front flyleaf, and the page has been professionally strengthened where it was separating at the hinge. Foxing to top edge and a couple of spots on the rear endpapers, otherwise a near fine copy in a very near fine dust jacket with a couple tiny edge nicks.

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