Catalog 161, B
12. BARTHELME, Donald. Sadness. NY: FSG (1972). Inscribed by Barthelme to John Barth and his wife: "For Jack and Shelly with all best/ Don." With Barth's ownership signature ("Barth") written in the upper corner. In 1972, Barthelme won the National Book Award for his children's book The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine; Barth won the National Book Award the next year for his 1972 novel Chimera; both authors taught at Boston University for a time, and the two were linked for years in the 1960s and 70s as two of the foremost exponents of a new American fiction -- post-modern and playful, taking cues from Borges and other experimental writers from around the world, in opposition to the sturdy realism of most of the acclaimed American literature of the 20th century up to that point. Small penciled checks to contents page (although "The Sandman" gets an "x"). Minor fading to top stain and crown, else fine in a very near fine dust jacket with slight creasing to the top edge and the front flap. From the library of John Barth. An exceptional association copy.
13. BEAGLE, Peter S. The Folk of the Air. NY: Del Rey/Ballantine (1986/1987). The uncorrected proof copy of the third fantasy novel by the author of the 1968 classic The Last Unicorn. Signed by the author. Some edge sunning and minor surface staining; very good in wrappers. Copyright page reproduces a hand correction that changed publication from September 1986 to January 1987.
14. BECKETT, Samuel. Endgame. London: Faber and Faber (1963). The uncorrected proof copy of this one-act play, followed by Act Without Words, a Mime for One Player. Small owner name on flyleaf; text block detached from pink wrappers, which are separating at the spine, thus only good. Slip inserted which states "Advance Proof of New Book/ Probable publication date: March-April/ Price: 10/6/ With the compliments of the Sales Manager." A scarce and fragile proof; only one copy has appeared at auction in 35 years. This is the only copy of it we have handled.
15. BECKETT, Samuel. Play and Two Short Pieces for Radio. London: Faber and Faber (1964). The uncorrected proof copy of Beckett's one-act play, Play, and the radio pieces Words and Music and Cascando. Stapled wrappers: staples rusty, front cover dirty, thus very good although contents fine. A scarce proof of these short works by the winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize for Literature.
16. BEECHER, John. Report to the Stockholders and Other Poems. (NY): MR Press, 1962. Poetry with a political edge by this activist poet, written during the volatile era of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. Inscribed by Beecher to Will Inman, another poet known for his political and social activism: "For Will Inman/ a poet whose work I like./ John Beecher/ May 22, 1967." Owner name and phone on front flyleaf with inscription on half title; wear to cloth at corners; a near fine copy in a very good dust jacket with a couple small edge chips. A nice literary association copy.
17. BELLOW, Saul. Three One Act Plays. NY: Hart Stenographic Bureau, 1965. Bound mimeographed scripts of Bellow's plays A Wen, Orange Soufflé, and Out from Under, which were performed in 1965 (and possibly 1966) at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. Title page for the volume, plus a blue title page for each play; 19 pages for A Wen; 20 pages for Orange Soufflé; 26 pages for Out from Under. Bound with two screws in a red leatherette Hart binding with embossed title. Small split to lower front hinge, a few spots of foxing to text; near fine. A Wen and Orange Soufflé were published in Esquire and collected in Traverse Plays [Penguin, c. 1966], a copy of which is included. The published version gives Bellow's British agent as a contact; the scripts are a U.S. production and give Bellow's American agent as contact. Textual differences exist between the script version and the published version of Orange Soufflé. Out from Under does not appear to have been published in English outside of this volume; a French version turns up in searches. OCLC locates only one copy of this collection, making it an extreme rarity for the Nobel Prize winning author.
18. BESSIE, Alvah. Alvah Bessie's Short Fictions. Novato: Chandler & Sharp (1982). A collection of short stories by this writer who is best known for having been one of the "Hollywood 10" who were blacklisted in the anti-Communist furor of the postwar years and the beginning of the Cold War. Bessie served 10 months in jail in addition to having his career as a screenwriter (he was nominated for an Academy Award in 1945) effectively terminated. This copy was inscribed by the author at a publication party for the book at the home of the writer Cyra McFadden (The Serial); Bessie began to inscribe the book to Cyra, and then realized it was not his hostess whom he was writing to but another writer attending the party, and he wrote her name in instead, with "no bullshit" and "Thanks." Edge-sunned; a very good copy in wrappers.
19. BLATTY, William Peter. The Exorcist. (Springfield): Gauntlet, 1997. The signed limited 25th Anniversary edition (26 years after initial publication) of Blatty's 1971 horror novel, which was the basis for the award-winning movie a year later by William Friedkin. Blatty won an Oscar for his screenplay. The Exorcist was one of the most successful horror movies of all time, and it was one of the key factors in bringing the field of horror, in literature and film, into its own. Of a total edition of 600 copies, this is a "PC" (press copy). Signed by Blatty. Also signed by F. Paul Wilson, who provides the introduction, and Ron Magid and Paul Clemens, who provide an afterword. Fine in a fine dust jacket and slipcase.
20. BOCK, Charles. Beautiful Children. NY: Random House (2008). A review copy of his well-received first book, winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize and a New York Times Notable Book. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket, with five pages of promotional material laid in.
21. BOWLES, Paul. The Sheltering Sky. London: Lehmann (1949). The first edition of Bowles's landmark first novel, about three young Westerners encountering the alien culture of North Africa, to their ultimate misfortune. One critic commented that Bowles was "a master of cruelty and isolation and the ironies of the search for meaning in an inadequately understood environment." The encounter with the Other; the limits of not only one's knowledge but most especially the knowledge of the extent of one's ignorance: these form the underlying themes of a novel whose setting is as much a character as the people themselves are. One of the seminal novels of the Beat generation and an influential book in the decades since. Printed in an edition of only 4000 copies. Upper corners bumped, sunning to board edges; near fine in a very good dust, spine-tanned dust jacket with a tear to the lower front spine fold and a few small edge chips. A cheaply produced postwar book, this is a better than usual copy.
22. BRADBURY, Ray. Dandelion Wine. Garden City: Doubleday, 1957. One of Bradbury's several classics, this one chosen by David Pringle as one of the hundred best modern fantasy novels. This copy is from the library of Stanley Wiater, a three-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association. A nice literary association: Bradbury was Wiater's first interviewee when he began his career as a writer and journalist. Wiater's Gahan Wilson-designed bookplate front flyleaf; small tear to board at upper rear joint; near fine in a near fine dust jacket with slight rubbing at the edges but virtually no fading or tanning to the spine, as is commonly found. A nice copy of one of Bradbury's most acclaimed novels, with noteworthy provenance.
23. (BRADBURY, Ray). Blue and White Summer '38. Los Angeles: Los Angeles High School, 1938. Bradbury's high school yearbook, Volume 83 of the Blue and White, issued semi-annually, this volume published by the graduating class of Summer 1938. Bradbury's senior picture is accompanied by the write up: "Ray Douglas Bradbury/Likes to write stories/Admired as a Thespian/Headed for literary distinction." Bradbury is also pictured as a member of the Drama Club, the Poetry Club, and the Glee Club, and perhaps in two other, unconfirmed, group sightings. This copy of the yearbook belonged to an underclassman, and there are the usual inscriptions from classmates. Boards are splayed; about a near fine copy in a very good, edgeworn dust jacket with the owner's name on the front panel. This is the first time we have seen this yearbook with a dust jacket, and until now did not even know that jackets had been issued. Uncommon thus.
24. BRESLIN, Jimmy. The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. NY: Viking (1969). A novel by the columnist who once ran a notable campaign for Mayor of New York City, and who won both a George Polk Award and a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting. Inscribed by the author to Peter [Maas] and his wife Audrey in the year of publication. Maas was the author of the 1969 book The Valachi Papers, which won the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime Book, and Serpico, both of which were filmed with their original titles, as well as the bestseller Underboss, among others. Edge sunning to boards and a stray pen mark to lower text block (not a remainder mark); near fine in a very good, lightly edgeworn dust jacket with fading to the green of the lower spine. A nice association copy between two of the most highly praised New York City writers of nonfiction, both of them focused on the criminal underbelly of the city.
25. (Broadsides). FORD, Richard; ERDRICH, Louise; others. Midnight Ruminator First (and Last). (n.p.): Midnight Paper Sales, 2004. A limited edition set of six broadsides by authors Richard Ford, Louise Erdrich, Li-Young Li, Robert Bly, Sandra Benitez, and Richard Holm, with illustrations by Gaylord Schanilec. Each broadside was printed in an edition of 110 copies between 2002 and 2004; of these 60 numbered full sets were created; this is number 8 of 60. Each broadside is signed by its author; the title page and the Ford broadside are signed by Schanilec. The Ford broadside is excerpted from the story "Charity"; Erdrich's broadside prints her poem "Blue." Both are uncommon; the full set is scarce. The broadsides measure 11" x 15" and are laid into a clothbound Midnight Ruminator portfolio. Fine.
26. BROWN, Rita Mae. The Hand That Cradles the Rock. NY: New York University Press, 1971. The author's first book, a collection of poetry and, according to the dust jacket flap copy, "the first book of poetry to be published in America by a feminist lesbian." Brown's autobiographical first novel, Rubyfruit Jungle, published in 1973, was a landmark in the history of gay literature, describing the coming of age of a young lesbian at a time of great prejudice against homosexuality; it became an underground, and later a mainstream, bestseller. Inscribed by the author: "Dear ___/ Poetry plants a slow fruit but its harvest is Revolution. Love, Rita." Fine in a near fine, spine-sunned dust jacket. A relevant inscription in the author's first book.
27. BUKOWSKI, Charles. Legs, Hips and Behind. (n.p.): (Wormwood Review Press)(1978). Issued as The Wormwood Review 71 (Volume 18, Number 3), devoted entirely to poems by Bukowski, with a cover drawing by him as well; this is number 394 of 700 numbered copies. Edge-sunning to covers; near fine in stapled wrappers.
28. (BUKOWSKI, Charles). The Wormwood Review 7. Storrs: Wormwood Review Press, 1962. Contains "Thank God for Alleys," Bukowski's first appearance in Wormwood: he would become the magazine's most frequent contributor, appearing in 97 issues overall. This is copy number 203 of 500 numbered copies. Edge-sunned; near fine in stapled wrappers. An early Bukowski appearance, and a particularly significant one in that it marked the beginning of a longterm relationship with the publisher and the publication.
29. BUTLER, Robert Olen and CLARK, Tom. Typed Letter Signed and Book Review. 1982. A typed letter signed by Butler to poet Tom Clark, regarding Clark's review. In 1981, Butler, who would later win the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his collection A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, published his first book, The Alleys of Eden. It was reviewed by Clark in the February 11, 1982 Los Angeles Times, with the headline "Vietnamization of a Deserter's Mind." On May 12, Butler wrote to Clark, saying, in part: "I have received twenty major reviews of the book but none of them was more sensitive or insightful than yours. The best literary criticism actually explains an author to himself. That's what your review did. I understand my own book better after reading your review and I want to thank you for that." The letter is signed "Bob Butler." Also included here is Clark's original, 3-page manuscript review, signed by Clark: "...Desertion, Butler seems to say, is an inevitable act, made necessary by the human state. Every small movement is an abandonment of the past, with death looming over everything as the greatest desertion of all..." Clark's review makes it clear that Butler's protagonist -- an Army intelligence officer who ends up deserting out of self-disgust over his involvement in the torture and death of a Viet Cong prisoner -- is an analogue for the larger society, which deserted both Vietnam and those who fought there, leaving both the Vietnamese and the veterans as "displaced persons," in both countries. Clark's review is penned on the back of copies from a book about Celine and folded in half; near fine. A photocopy of the published review is included. Butler's letter is folded for mailing; else fine in a near fine envelope. With a copy of Alleys of Eden [NY: Horizon (1981)], which is fine in a very near fine dust jacket with a short edge tear. An insightful review of one of the best novels to come out of the Vietnam war, and the author's appreciative response.