Catalog 159, B
11. BAKER, Nicholson. Vox. NY: Random House (1992). The advance reading copy of his fourth book, and the first of his sex books: an unlikely bestseller—a literary novel that takes the form of a telephone conversation between two strangers, a man and a woman, about sex. This copy is humorously signed by the author: "Nicholson (1-900) Baker." Slight bump to spine base, else fine in wrappers and enclosed in the publisher's plain brown paper wrapper.
12. BALDWIN, James. The Fire Next Time. NY: Dial Press, 1963. Signed by the author on the dedication page, as was often his practice. Owner signature to first blank, and small date (Feb. '63) to verso of first blank; also small blindstamps of previous owner to prelims and small sticker removal shadow front flyleaf: none of these things add up to make this less than a near fine copy, in a very good dust jacket with minor rubbing and edge wear.
13. BALDWIN, James. One Day When I Was Lost. NY: Dial, 1973. The first American edition of this "scenario" or screenplay, based on Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The conjunction of Baldwin, the most prominent African-American author of the postwar era, and Malcolm X, the most prominent radical black leader of the period, is a notable one, even though this version of the screenplay was not ultimately produced when the film was finally made, two decades later, by Spike Lee. Signed by the author on the half title. Owner signature to first blank, foxing to top edge; otherwise fine in a very near fine, price-clipped dust jacket. One of Baldwin's less common titles, and especially scarce signed.
14. BALDWIN, James. The Evidence of Things Not Seen. NY: HRW (1985). A review copy of this extended essay on race in America. Baldwin takes as his starting point the series of murders of black children in Atlanta in the 1980s, a time when the mayor of Atlanta was black and the killer, when found, turned out also to be a black man. Signed by Baldwin on the dedication page. Faint foxing to top edge, else fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket, with review slip taped to the front endpaper.
15. BALLARD, J.G. Empire of the Sun. London: Gollancz, 1984. The prize-winning autobiographical novel of growing up in Japanese-occupied Shanghai during the Second World War, written by an author most well-known and acclaimed for his postmodern fantasy and science fiction. Basis for the award-winning Steven Spielberg/Tom Stoppard film. Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Signed by the author. Small owner signature; a near fine copy in a very near fine dust jacket with two tiny indents to the rear panel. The jacket is the first issue jacket, with only two comments on the rear panel -- by Graham Greene and Angela Carter -- rather than six.
16. BARNES, Julian. Metroland. London: Jonathan Cape (1980). His first novel under his own name. Signed by the author on the title page and dated in 1985. Fine in a fine dust jacket, with half of the wraparound band announcing the title as the winner of the Somerset Maugham Award laid in. Barnes has become one of the most acclaimed of his generation of British novelists. He won the Man Booker Prize in 2011, and three of his earlier books were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. A nice copy of an early book, and uncommon signed.
17. BELL, Christine. Saint. Englewood: Pineapple Press (1985). Her first book. Signed by the author in Miami in 1992. Together with a three page original story by Bell, in the form of letter, about a gang of three circus dogs gone bad that hang out behind Vinnie Tellarino's Steak House & Restaurant, emerging only to steal purses and books that need to be signed. The book has foxing to the endpages and page edges; near fine in a near fine dust jacket foxed on verso. Blurbs by Anne Tyler, Gail Godwin and James Dickey. The letter/story is a dot matrix print out that is folded in thirds and is also signed by Bell. As best we can tell, the story has not been published. Bell wrote the novel that was the basis for the 1995 film, The Perez Family, with Marisa Tomei and Anjelica Huston.
18. BELL, Madison Smartt. "L'Amoure en ronde" in Camping d'Amour No. 2. (Brussels): (Fondation Europeenne pour la Sculpture)(1997). Bell provides a bilingual (English/French) fable as introduction to the catalog of work by Jean de la Fontaine: in 1997 the Luxembourg artist had installed his "Love of Camping" in a Brussels park. One of 500 numbered copies. Fine in stapled wrappers. A scarce piece by Bell, attractively illustrated.
19. BELLOW, Saul. Him with His Foot in His Mouth. NY: Harper & Row (1984). A collection of short fiction. Inscribed by Bellow to fellow Chicago author John Frederick Nims and his wife, Bonnie Larkin Nims: "To Bonnie and John/ with good wishes/ Saul Bellow." Nims was editor of Chicago's Poetry Magazine from 1978 to 1984, about the time of this inscription; he was also an award-winning poet. Offsetting to rear endpages where two articles about Bellow are laid in. Also laid in is a copy of a typed review of the book by Chicago bookseller Stuart Brent, who was announcing the title as his selection for the Stuart Brent Book Club. A nice association copy.
20. (Best Short Stories). Study Questions on the Best Short Stories of 1924 and The Best British Short Stories of 1924. Boston: Small, Maynard (1924). To coincide with the tenth volume published in the Best American Short Stories series (then called Best Short Stories on the U.S. volumes), series editor Edward J. O'Brien published this companion volume, "compiled for home, class or club use." 58 pages, with an introduction by O'Brien and his suggestions as to how each of the stories in the two 1924 volumes (American and British) can be studied. American authors in the study booklet include Glenway Wescott, Zona Gale and Floyd Dell; British authors include Mary Butts, A.E. Coppard, E.M. Delafield, L.P. Hartley, G.B. Mackenzie, Katherine Mansfield, Edith Sitwell, Liam O'Flaherty, Somerset Maugham, Romer Wilson, and H.M. Tomlinson. Age toning to page edges; near fine in stapled wrappers. Together with a first edition of the U.S. volume, The Best Short Stories of 1924, which has an owner name stamped in two places; near fine, lacking the dust jacket. A little-known, ephemeral piece associated with the longest-running and most prestigious anthology of short fiction published in the U.S., by the longtime series editor.
21. BORGES, Jorge Luis. "El doctor Francisco Laprista..." (n.p.): (n.p.), 1954. A poem by Borges -- "Poema Conjetural," originally published in his 1943 collection Poemas -- a fragment of which is in manuscript, illustrated by Argentine artist Raul Russo. Signed by Borges and Russo. Borges was famous by the early 1950s, and considered among the most important Argentine writers -- if not the most important -- but his literary success did not translate into economic well-being. He once commented ruefully that, if a printer printed 300 copies of one of his books (the size of the editions of several of his early titles), most of them would be given away and read only by friends and family: they would not translate into sales. In the late 1940s he had a boring job at a small branch library in Buenos Aires, where he would surreptitiously spend most of the day reading, and in the early Fifties his economic situation was dire. He conceived the plan to capitalize on his fame, and that of his friends and fellow artists, by creating small manuscripts which could be sold for some extra money. Borges had been in the forefront of the Argentine avant garde since the early 1920s, and by the Fifties he counted most of the important artists and writers in Buenos Aires as his friends. Russo was an artist best-known for his watercolors, and this poem is illustrated with two paintings by him. A member of the faculty in architecture at the University of Buenos Aires and a professor of Art in the School of Fine Arts, Russo had won first prize in the competition among the Society of Watercolorists and Engravers on the theme of "The City of Buenos Aires" in 1948. He went on to garner numerous other awards over the course of his career and to be elected to the National Academy of Fine Arts. This copy bears another illustration by Russo on the verso, where it is again signed by Borges and Russo, and where it is also signed by Santiago Cogorno, Ricardo Molinari (an important Argentine poet), and ten others. An elaborate production, hand-produced as one of ten original productions on the night of November 17, 1954 by this grouping of literary and artistic notables, and indicative of Borges' need to create something that would be attractive and saleable for some extra money. 6 1/4" x 9 3/8". Fine.
22. BOWLES, Paul. Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue. London: Peter Owen, 1985. The second British edition of this title first published in 1963. Inscribed by Bowles: "For Mary Robbins/ with best/ Paul B./ 17/XII/92/ Tangier." Robbins was a friend and neighbor of Bowles's biographer, Virginia Spencer Carr; Robbins accompanied Carr on several trips to Tangier, and she housed Bowles when he traveled to the U.S. for surgery in 1994. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket with a small nick to the rear panel.
23. (BOWLES, Paul). MRABET, Mohammed. The Lemon. MY: McGraw-Hill (1972). The first American edition of the second collaboration between Bowles and Mrabet -- Mrabet dictating the story and Bowles transcribing it and translating. Inscribed by Bowles: "For Mary Robbins/ Paul Bowles/ Tangier 14/IV/90." Fine in a very near fine dust jacket, with slight fading to the spine colors.
24. BOYLE, T. Coraghessan. Descent of Man. Boston: Little Brown (1979). His first book, a highly praised collection of stories. Inscribed by the author "con amistad" in 1994. Recipient's signature to front flyleaf; fine in a rubbed, near fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
25. BRADBURY, Ray. It Came from Outer Space. (Colorado Springs): Gauntlet Publications, 2004. The limited edition of this book about the classic science fiction movie of the 1950s, which was based on a short story by Ray Bradbury. Includes several previously unpublished treatments by Bradbury for the film, as well as three previously unpublished stories by him from the same time period. Also includes reviews, photographs, ads for the film, an interview with Bradbury about it, and essays on it. This is number 174 of 750 numbered copies, signed by Ray Bradbury. Bookplate of horror writer Stanley Wiater on the front flyleaf. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
26. BRADBURY, Ray. The Halloween Tree. (Colorado Springs): Gauntlet Press, 2005. The limited edition, assembled by Donn Albright, who put together the reissue of Dark Carnival and the limited edition of It Came From Outer Space. This edition collects the 1967 screenplay; the 1971 novel in progress and the finished novel from 1972; the teleplay from 1992; and various associated materials. This is number 507 of 750 numbered copies. Signed by Bradbury. Bookplate of Stanley Wiater on the front flyleaf; fine in a fine dust jacket.
27. BUKOWSKI, Charles. 4 Christs. 1978. Carbon typescript of a 3-page poem by Bukowski about a reading with Ginsberg, Ferlinghetti and Snyder (Ginsing, Beerlinghetti and Cynder in this rendering). Signed by Bukowski and dated 6-13-78. With a half dozen corrections in the author's hand. Collected, with great variation in word choice (and pseudonyms), in What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire. An interesting look at Bukowski's poem as a work-in-progress, with the later published version strengthening and clarifying some of the elements of this version. Bukowski, as usual, paints himself as the outsider, even in a setting like this where, to the audience, all of the readers are esteemed poets, including himself, and even some of the audience are poets, albeit less well known. Bukowski wrote only a handful of poems in which other writers appear with pseudonyms -- typically easily recognizable ones -- and these shed some light on how he viewed himself in the literary world and how he viewed his own literary celebrity. Manuscript material by Bukowski has become increasingly uncommon, and this is a notable one for its subject matter. Fine.
28. BURKE, James Lee. Sunset Limited. NY: Doubleday (1998). A novel in the Robicheaux mystery series. Inscribed on the title page by Burke to the Native American activist and author Vine Deloria, Jr.: "To Vine Deloria, with congratulations upon your success and thanks for the hours of fine reading given people like me, James Lee Burke." Signed by Deloria as well, on the half-title. Deloria wrote a number of provocative and highly praised books on American Indian issues in the late 1960s and 1970s (and later), including Custer Died for Your Sins, God Is Red, Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties, and others. A fierce polemicist, he used humor to get his message across and succeeded in bringing a new awareness of Native American history and culture to a non-native mainstream audience. When he died in 2005, the New York Times obituary quoted a friend and colleague who called him "the most important person in Indian affairs" over the past 100 years, "period." Minor bowing to boards, else fine in a fine dust jacket. An unusual and interesting association.
29. BUTLER, Robert Olen. Alleys of Eden. NY: Horizon (1981). The Pulitzer Prize-winner's first book, a highly praised novel of the ending and aftermath of the Vietnam war -- themes that have continued to run through his writing since, including his award-winning story collection, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. Although Butler's early books were universally praised by reviewers, they enjoyed little commercial success, in part because the first three were published by a small publisher on the brink of bankruptcy. This copy is signed by the author on the half title and additionally inscribed by Butler on the front flyleaf in 1982: "For ______ - After 13 years of friendship and long and far separations you are still often in my thoughts. An enduring friendship is a gift from God. I hope you enjoy the book. Warmest regards, Bob." Five photocopied pages of publicity material laid in: 2 pages of review excerpts from 21 sources and 3 pages of published reviews. Faint offsetting to pastedowns, foxing to top edge of text block; near fine in a very good, lightly foxed dust jacket with shallow chipping to the spine ends, a small pull to the rear panel, and a small bookstore stamp there.