Catalog 161, A
1. ABBEY, Edward. The Monkey Wrench Gang. Philadelphia: Lippincott (1975). The advance reading copy of his most famous novel, about a group of radical environmentalists who plot to blow up Glen Canyon Dam. This copy is inscribed by Abbey to one of the founding members of Earth First!: "For Ron [Kezar]/ Ed Abbey/ Glen Canyon Damn [sic] 1981." Earth First! was inspired by the activists in The Monkey Wrench Gang, and in March 1981, the then-unknown group was planning its first major publicity stunt, the dropping of a 300 foot-long symbolic "crack" down the face of Glen Canyon Dam, and Abbey was invited to witness literature in action. A historic association copy. Near fine in wrappers.
2. ABBEY, Edward. Preface to Desert Solitaire. (n.p.): [University of Arizona], 1987. The galley sheets of Abbey's preface to the 20th anniversary edition of his classic of environmental literature, published by the University of Arizona in 1988. Five long pages, 8 1/2" x 14", folded once, reproducing editorial (and authorial?) changes in the text and with Abbey's annotations to the first page: his printed name; a specification that this is the preface "to the 5th Edition (U of A Press) of Desert Solitaire)" and the parenthetical notation of "pub. date April or May, 1988." The galleys are dated 1987 and marked "1st Proof." The preface to the 20th anniversary edition was an opportunity for Abbey to look back on the days when he wrote the notes from which the book derived -- more than a decade before it was first published in 1968 -- and to remark on both the way it had taken on a life of its own over the years and also the way that the destruction of the wilderness that he wrote about was ongoing and increasing. Abbey decries such despoliation of the natural world; declares himself not to be a "nature writer" as he is frequently called but rather a "nature lover"; thanks his readers for their support while recounting pointedly the lack of attention he has gotten from the Eastern critical establishment; and ends with a benediction both for the reader and for the natural world that reads as almost a coda to a life spent contending with those who would destroy the natural beauty of the world, and limit our ability to confront it and engage it with awe and wonder. Abbey died in early 1989 at the age of 62, so this is likely one of the last essays he wrote. An early, rare galley proof showing corrections and changes to a work in progress by one of the foremost advocates for wilderness.
3. (ABBEY, Edward). CRUMB, R. Promotional Sticker for The Monkey Wrench Gang. (n.p.): (n.p.). A peel-and-stick illustration for The Monkey Wrench Gang, done by R. Crumb for the Tenth Anniversary Edition [Salt Lake City: Dream Garden, 1985]. As usual for Crumb, a humorous and visually striking image, and a scarce ephemeral piece. 4 1/4" x 6". Fine.
4. ACHEBE, Chinua. A Man of the People. London: Heinemann (1966). The first British edition of this satirical novel about political corruption in Nigeria, by one of the foremost African men of letters of the 20th century, author of Things Fall Apart, among others, and winner of the 2007 Man Booker International Prize. Signed by Achebe. Tiny taps to upper corners, else fine in a very good dust jacket with slight rubbing and a creased tear at the upper front panel. A Burgess 99 title.
5. -. Same title. The uncorrected proof copy. Signed by the author. Faint spine-tanning, a few spots to lower edge of text block, and tiny corner creases; very good in wrappers.
6. ACKROYD, Peter. Dickens. (London): Sinclair-Stevenson (1990). An advance reading excerpt of Ackroyd's massive biography of Dickens. Ackroyd's first novel, The Great Fire of London, was a re-working of Dickens' Little Dorrit. He has written poetry, criticism, fiction and biographies; a number of his works of fiction have been, in part, a portrait of the city of London, and he also wrote London: The Biography. Fine in stapled wrappers.
7. ALBEE, Edward. The American Dream. NY: Coward-McCann (1961). The hardcover issue of this early one-act play by the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, among others. Offsetting to endpages; else fine in a near fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
8. (Anthology). The Future Dictionary of America. (n.p.): McSweeney's (2004). A re-definition of terms, by over 200 American writers, artists and musicians. Edited by Dave Eggers, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Kraus and Eli Horowitz. The project was conceived as an "imagining of the American language sometime in the future, when all or most of our country's problems are solved and the present administration [that of George W. Bush] is a distant memory." This copy is signed by Dave Eggers, Charles Baxter, Vendela Vida, Julia Orringer, and four others, one of whom has added: "Vote until you die." Fine in a fine dust jacket, with a CD tipped to the rear pastedown, with new songs by David Byrne, Death Cab for Cutie, Tom Waits, They Might Be Giants, Sleater-Kinney, R.E.M., and Elliot Smith.
9. ATWOOD, Margaret. Birds. Easthampton: Glenn Horowitz, 2012. An essay by Atwood, with drawings by Billy Sullivan. Atwood, in addition to being a poet and novelist, is a birder and an environmental activist. Sullivan provides sketches of birds from his East Hampton, NY, backyard, done over a 13-year span from 1993 to 2006. Sullivan is known for his paintings and photographs of family and friends that "are playfully, but expertly, composed to capture the exuberance and spontaneity of a moment," and he has done the same with his backyard birds here. This book was produced in conjunction with an exhibition of Sullivan's bird drawings in 2012. Of a total edition of 450 copies, this is one of 100 clothbound copies signed by the author and the artist. Fine, without dust jacket, as issued.
10. -. Same title. One of 350 copies in self-wrappers. Fine.