Catalog 95, K-L
158. KENEALLY, Thomas. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith. NY: Viking (1972). A novel by the Australian author of the Booker Prize-winning Schindler's Ark, which was later made into the award-winning film, Schindler's List. This book was also made into a well-received, albeit quite grim, movie. Keneally won the Miles Franklin Award--Australia's highest literary honor--in both 1967 and 1968. This novel won a Heinemann Award from the Royal Society of Literature in Great Britain in 1973.
159. KEROUAC, Jack. "MARTON, Howard Malcolm III." Typed Letter Signed. (undated, most likely c. November-December, 1942). One and a half pages, on one 5" x 8" sheet of U.S. Army stationery. Addressed pseudonymously from "Howard Malcolm Marton" to "the INFERIOR one." The nearly 300-word missive, written from a fictional alter-ego to himself, derides the recipient (Kerouac) for his lack of culture, his repeated embarrassments, and his poor taste in friends--"the peasants of this Okieland, whom he regards (Jaque has never had much strength of character) as his friends." The name "Malcolm-Marton" suggests an earlier form of "Martin," the semi-autobiographical family of Kerouac's first novel, The Town and the City, in which Kerouac's alter-ego was "Peter Martin." Kerouac himself is referred to variously as "Jaque" or "Jack," and in a 5-line, 30-word holograph postscript to the text he writes: "Dictated to John Kerouac in his lodgings at the University [Columbia] at 4 A.M. in the morning while the radio played Jane Froman's I've Got You Under my Skin...,'" signed "JK." In October, 1942, Kerouac returned to Columbia when he received a telegram from the football coach urging him to return for the fall season. After sitting on the bench for the first game, he walked out on the team. Kerouac's friend, Alex Sampas, had enlisted in the Army in the fall of 1942, and it is likely that Kerouac got this stationery from Sampas. In addition to the holograph postscript, the text bears two holograph corrections by Kerouac. Folded in eighths or more; near fine. An extremely early example of Kerouac's writing, reflecting both the insecurities he felt as a working class Catholic in the WASP-ish precincts of the Ivy League as well as the fictional imagination that was to drive his writing for the next quarter century.
Kerouac to Cassady, and the Genesis of On the Road
160. KEROUAC, Jack. Autograph Letter Signed. September 13, 1947. Six pages, on three legal sized sheets, about 1900 words. An exuberant letter, written by Kerouac in the early stages of his friendship with Neal Cassady, who was to become his closest friend and, in some respects, the Johnson to Kerouac's Boswell: Cassady was "Dean Moriarty" in Kerouac's landmark novel, On the Road, and Kerouac was "Sal Paradise" and, while the two were partners, it was Moriarty who impelled the action, and Paradise whose gift was in appreciating the depths and dimensions of his friend's life and their mutual experiences. The letter begins with Kerouac praising Cassady's correspondence, and encouraging him to continue his writing; he says that "I like your letters immensely, especially the last one, in which I was afforded all kinds of mad strange glimpses into your present circumstances. It was better than my letter because it dealt with real and interesting things--I will try to maintain your standard of reportage." Cassady had been writing Kerouac long, rambling letters, in the style of their late-night conversations the previous winter in New York. Here, Kerouac is seen taking his cue for his own writing style from his less well-educated but more worldly-wise and adventurous friend.
Kerouac encourages Cassady to continue his voracious reading, contrasting his own, formal education with Cassady's admirable self-education, which he pursued with "superhuman determination." He writes: "I want you to read a million books, that's all. I want to see you remain the same Neal who rushed from work straight to the library, in Denver, educating yourself, and never stopping." He urges him to read Balzac, and says "I like a guy whose [sic] always rushing around doing a million things everywhere and knowing everybody, yet at the same time continuing his inner development, which is what is going to determine the lines in his face some day, his soul... And you with a book under your arm everytime I see you!"
Throughout, Kerouac views himself as the more educated and literary of the two, with Cassady the more down-to-earth and experienced and, in some sense, the more fully realized human being. His admiration for Cassady, even when couched in what appears in retrospect to be unintentional condescension regarding their relative education, is nearly palpable. While Kerouac is the writer, Cassady is the doer, and the letter reflects that repeatedly: Kerouac takes much inspiration from Cassady, even as he tries to return the favor--although, in his own words, he recognizes that he is exhorting Cassady "like an old schoolmaster tonight."
At one point in the letter, Kerouac refers to his novel-in-progress, The Town and the City, which he is just finishing and for which he had high hopes. It was turned down for publication several times in the next two years--causing Kerouac grave self-doubt about his claim to being a writer--but was finally published in 1950.
After several interludes with grand plans of various sorts--e.g., "One of the first things you and I should do is go into the coat-selling business"--and numerous accounts of sexual escapades with various girlfriends, he writes reflectively and poetically of rowing out to a ghost-ship in San Francisco harbor with friends, exploring the innards of the ship, and of his intention to spend three days and nights there, alone. He jokingly suggests that Cassady come join him in San Francisco, and the two of them live rent-free on the ghost ship in the middle of the bay.
The crux of the letter, however, is in the latter portion, when he details his own plans for traveling up and down the West Coast--to "ramble slowly northward, on freights and hitch-hiking, through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota...: on through the powerful October-lands of Minnesota and Wisconsin, on to Chicago again, Detroit, and New York--all very slowly, eating huge meals in hungry diners and great breakfasts in the morning places of men, man, in some of those Northwest hotels in backwoods towns, sleeping 20 hours at a crack in a big creaking bed, moving on--..." In these passages, rhapsodizing about the future traveling, and living, that he plans to do, both with and without Cassady, one can see Kerouac trying out the self-consciously literary but free flowing writing style that later characterized his novels, and which, again, was reminiscent of his late night conversations with Cassady the previous winter. He writes that the two of them should get together: "We must make this another good year, like last winter," and sets up two scenarios including a plan to meet with Cassady and travel across the country--explaining, "Don't you see man, I absolutely refuse to go back home the way I came!"--and planning to meet and travel with "Bill" [Burroughs], "Hunkey" [Herbert Huncke], and others: "I feel like writing a huge novel about all of it. Just think --these people I mentioned, and us, and Bill, Joan, Hunkey, Allen, and Lucien and Celine, and Vicki and Normie..." The novel Kerouac planned to write, and which he began in 1948, was On the Road.
The letter ends poignantly: after writing enthusiastically that "We are living at just the right time--Johnson and his London, Balzac and his Paris, Socrates and his Athens--the same thing again," he closes by saying that "The only thing I'm worried about is the inevitable Siberia I'm bound to get, like Dostoevsky, which will make me grow up." The letter is signed, "Your pal, Jack / writ by hand."
Kerouac wrote this letter in late 1947. He had met Cassady earlier that year, and had introduced him to marijuana; it surprised Kerouac that Cassady, who had already been in and out of reform school, had never tried it. After spending the early months of the year hanging out together in New York, Cassady headed west in March. He corresponded furiously with Kerouac, trying to capture and continue the spirit of their long, sometimes all-night, conversations. In July, 1947, Kerouac left New York for his first cross-country trip, and wrote this letter after arriving in San Francisco and getting a job as a security guard. Cassady at the time was in Texas, living and working on William Burroughs' ranch, which Kerouac refers to in this letter.
Kerouac began the novel that he had always thought of as "On the Road" in 1948, attempting to incorporate as much of the life he had lived with Cassady, Ginsberg, and others into it and working on various versions of it until 1951, when, in one legendary three week burst of creativity, he finished a complete draft as a single, unbroken paragraph written on a 120-foot long roll of toilet paper. By the time it was published six years later, in 1957--made publishable by Kerouac's acceding to Malcolm Cowley's efforts to revise and soften certain portions of it--Kerouac had written 11 novels, the bulk of what he would publish in his lifetime. If anything, the success of On the Road, and the celebrity that followed it, constituted Kerouac's "Siberia": he was 35 years old when it was published, and would die 12 years later, a bitter, broken alcoholic. Cassady went on to become the mentor and guru for the later counterculture generation of the 1960s, which inherited the Beat mantle, and became the driver on Ken Kesey's legendary bus of Merry Pranksters. In a tale, and life, with all the dimensions of myth, he died alone in Mexico, a victim of drugs and the life of excess that he had pursued since his days with Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs. On the Road became the "Bible" of both the Beat generation and the later counterculture, selling millions of copies, remaining in print for decades, and finally taking its place as a great American "road novel" in a tradition going back to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Its impact on American culture in the postwar years is so profound and pervasive that it can scarcely be recognized anymore--from the casual use of "recreational" drugs and the breaking down of sexual barriers, to the mainstreaming of the "hipster" image, to the introduction of Eastern mystical philosophy into the cultural vocabulary. A movie of the novel is in the works, which will presumably attempt to capture and convey the special magic and powerful effect that the book, and the lives of its participants, have had on our contemporary life and world views.
Kerouac seldom wrote his letters by hand, preferring a typewriter; the appearance of such a lengthy, handwritten, seminal letter--to his best friend and the leading character in his greatest novel--affords a rare and revealing glimpse at the genesis of one of the greatest contemporary myths in modern American culture. Folded in fourths for mailing; trace darkening; fine.
161. KEROUAC, John. The Town and the City. NY: Harcourt Brace (1950). His first novel, written in the style of Kerouac's idol, Thomas Wolfe. Kerouac later dismissed this novel as "dead"--contrasting it with the stream-of-consciousness style that he adopted for his later novels--but at least one critic called it "an excellent novel in the Wolfeian autobiographic style." In fact, Kerouac's correspondence shows him to have been preparing to write On the Road while this novel was still unpublished, and to have envisioned them as being of a piece, both arising from the fact that he self-consciously viewed himself as a writer. While not as deliberately experimental or jazz-inspired as his later books, especially On the Road, The Town and the City clearly shows Kerouac's literary antecedents, and his view of himself as a literary artist, long before he came to be a cultural icon--a fact that is still not fully appreciated in the literary and scholarly community. This copy is signed by the author,"John Kerouac," on the front endpaper--an early signature, as he later signed his books "Jack Kerouac," after the success of On the Road. Some fading to the top stain, corners very slightly bumped; near fine in a very near fine dust jacket with trace rubbing at the extremities. A very attractive copy of one of the most important fiction debuts of the postwar period, and extremely scarce with a contemporary signature. In custom folding chemise and gilt stamped, full morocco slipcase.
162. KEROUAC, Jack. "Someday you'll be lying there in a nice trance..." Pleasant Valley: Kriya Press, 1967. Attractive broadside, approximately 12" x 17 1/2", issued by the Kriya Press of Sri Ram Ashrama in upstate New York. Four stanzas, with a black and white illustration. One of 100 copies, and one of the scarcest Kerouac items produced in his lifetime. Only the deluxe editions of the Grove Press titles, Dr. Sax and Mexico City Blues, were issued in smaller numbers. A year before this broadside was done, a broadside was issued of A Pun for Al Gelpi in an edition of 100 copies, which is one of the legendarily scarce Kerouac items. Framed, fine.
163. KIDDER, Tracy. The Soul of a New Machine. Boston: Atlantic-Little Brown (1981). His second book, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for Nonfiction. Kidder spent a year with a design team at Data General, chronicling the process of designing a new minicomputer, and recounted the tale in lucid, accessible prose which opened up this normally invisible aspect of the contemporary world of high technology and industry to a wide readership. He has followed a similar pattern for his more recent books, which have been critical and commercial successes, and have focused on such seemingly mundane subjects as the building of a house, a year in the life of a schoolteacher, and growing old in a nursing home. Faded at the tip of the spine; else fine in a spine-faded, else fine dust jacket. A shining example of the kind of "literary journalism" that grew out of the New Journalism of the 1960s, and the breakdown of the stylistic barriers between journalism and the more literary forms. Reprinted many times and something of a bestseller but, in our experience, a surprisingly scarce volume in the first printing.
164. KILLENS, John O. Youngblood. NY: Dial, 1954. The first book by this important, award-winning African-American author from Georgia, who was chairman of the Harlem Writers Guild Workshop in the 1960s, among numerous other literary honors. The novel tells the story of a black family in Georgia in the late 1920s and early 1930s, a period of Jim Crow laws and rampant racism. Inscribed by the author in 1972. Publisher's stamp on title page; near fine in a very good dust jacket with several edge tears. An important debut.
165. - . Same title, a review copy of the second edition (NY: Trident, 1966), reissued shortly after his fourth book had been published in January, 1966. Inscribed by the author in 1972. Fine in a very good, spine-tanned dust jacket, with review slip and promotional sheet laid in.
166. KILLENS, John Oliver. And Then We Heard the Thunder. NY: Knopf, 1963. The author's second book, a novel of black Americans fighting in World War II. The author served 26 months with the Amphibian Forces in the South Pacific during that war. Inscribed by the author in 1972. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with rubbing on the spine fold and a couple of small spots on the spine.
167. KILLENS, John Oliver. 'Sippi. NY: Trident Press, 1964. His third book, a novel of race relations in the South in the aftermath of the landmark Supreme Court decision in 1954 rendering segregation in public schools unconstitutional. The author was active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and the novel is a prescient one in its depiction of the deteriorating, rather than improving, relations between the races in the wake of the landmark changes begun in the 1950s. Inscribed by the author in 1972. Fine in a lightly rubbed, else fine dust jacket.
168. KILLENS, John Oliver. The Cotillion. NY: Trident Press (1971). His fourth novel, fifth book. Inscribed by the author in 1972. Spotting to top stain, else fine in a very near fine dust jacket, with a crimp at the crown.
169. -. Same title. The uncorrected proof copy. Inscribed by the author in 1972. Tall, fragile, padbound proofs, with covers very near detaching; but holding out at very good.
170. KILLENS, John Oliver. Great Gittin' Up Morning. Garden City: Doubleday (1972). A review copy of this biography of Denmark Vesey, a freed black in Charleston in the 1820s, who gave up a successful carpentry business to lead an insurrection in an attempt to free his enslaved wife and children. Inscribed by Killens in the year of publication. Fine in a dust jacket with one small edge tear, else fine. This is the hardcover edition; there was also a simultaneous paperback issued. A surprisingly scarce book, which shows up less often than some of his earlier novels. With review slip laid in.
171. KINCAID, Jamaica. Lucy. NY: FSG (1990). Fourth book by the author of At the Bottom of the River and Annie John, among others. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
172. KINSELLA, Thomas. Poems & Translations. NY: Atheneum, 1961. The first book to be published in the U.S. by this Irish poet. Winner of the Irish Arts Council's Triennial Book Award. This is the issue in wrappers; there was also a simultaneous hardcover edition. A near fine copy, and signed by the author.
173. KINSELLA, Thomas. Poems. London: Oxford U. Press (1968). A volume containing poetry by Kinsella, Anne Sexton, and Douglas Livingstone. Kinsella's poems are from three previous collection. Fine in wrappers and signed by Kinsella.
174. KINSELLA, Thomas. Nightwalker and Other Poems. NY: Knopf, 1968. His second book to be published in the U.S., having been published in slightly different form a year earlier in Dublin. This copy is signed by the author. Fine in a dust jacket with trace wear at the crown; else fine.
175. KINSELLA, Thomas. The Táin. London: Oxford U. Press (1970). The issue in wrappers of the trade edition of this translation by Kinsella of the Irish epic Táin Bó Cuailnge. Published a year earlier in a limited edition in Dublin. Signed by Kinsella. Fine in wrappers.
176. KINSELLA, Thomas. Butcher's Dozen. (Dublin): (Peppercannister/Dolmen Press) (1972). One long poem, published as Peppercannister 1. Fine in stapled wrappers and signed by the author.
177. KINSELLA, Thomas. Notes from the Land of the Dead and Other Poems. NY: Knopf, 1973. The hardcover issue of his third collection to be published in the U.S. Fine in a fine dust jacket and signed by the author.
178. -. Same title, the issue in wrappers. Fine, and signed by the author.
179. -. Same title, the uncorrected proof copy. Very near fine in wrappers and signed by the author.
180. (KINSELLA, Thomas). The Search: Seventh Series. Carbondale: Southern Illinois U. Press (1967). A poetry anthology edited and signed by Kinsella. Light shelfwear to cloth at edges; else fine in a lightly dust-soiled, very good dust jacket with a small gouge on the front panel.
181. KOSINSKI, Jerzy. Being There. NY: HBJ (1970). Advance review copy of the third book by the author of The Painted Bird and the National Book Award-winning Steps. This title was made into a well-received movie. Inscribed by the author in 1974. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
182. KOTZWINKLE, William. The Game of Thirty. Boston/NY: Houghton Mifflin/Seymour Lawrence, 1994. The advance reading copy. A private eye novel involving an ancient Egyptian game being played by a killer in contemporary Manhattan. Fine in wrappers.
183. KRABBÉ, Tim. The Vanishing. NY: Random House (1993). The first American edition of this book that was the basis of two films, one Dutch and one American, neither of which was faithful to the book's true ending. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Uncommon.
184. LAMOTT, Anne. Crooked Little Hearts. NY: Pantheon (1997). Complimentary copy of the seventh novel by the author of Hard Laughter, among others. Fine in a fine dust jacket and signed by the author. With publisher's promotional sheet laid in.
185. LANSDALE, Joe R. Writer of the Purple Rage. Baltimore: CD Publications, 1994. The limited edition of this collection of short stories in a number of genres, from horror to mystery to science fiction, to just plain weird. Also includes an essay and comic strip not in the trade edition. One of 500 numbered copies signed by the author and by the illustrator, Mark Nelson. Fine in a dust jacket with creases on each of the flaps, but otherwise fine, in publisher's cloth slipcase.
186. LARKIN, Philip. Jill. Woodstock: Overlook Press (1976). The uncorrected proof copy of the first American edition of the poet's first novel, originally published in England in 1946. The text of this edition follows minor revisions Larkin made for a 1963 British reissue, and is thus different from the first edition. Spine-tanned; else fine in white wrappers.
187. LEAVITT, David. Arkansas. Boston/NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. The uncorrected proof copy of this controversial collection of short novellas, by the author of the equally controversial While England Sleeps. One of the novellas in this collection had been slated for publication in Esquire but was pulled when it offended the magazine's editors and/or advertisers; it involved a young man trading term papers for gay sex. Fine in wrappers.
188. -. Same title. 8 1/2" x 11" tapebound galley sheets. An earlier state than the above, probably intended primarily for in-house use rather than wide distribution. Fine.
189. L'ENGLE, Madeleine. The Journey with Jonah. NY: FSG (1967). A short play by the author of A Wrinkle in Time, among others. Fine in a near fine, price-clipped dust jacket. One of her scarcer books.
190. LEONARD, Elmore. Escape from Five Shadows. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1956. Leonard's third book--like his first two, a Western. An extremely scarce book, in part, no doubt, because it is not particularly well-made: the paper and binding are both of the cheaper variety available to publishers in the 1950s, and would not be expected to wear well or last long. This is likely an ex-library copy. The book is near fine and bears none of the usual library markings; the jacket is spine-sunned and bears thin strips of glue residue on the flap folds, the small shadow of a label removal at the lower spine, and tiny corner chips at the crown; still very good. Inscribed by the author on the title page.
191. LODGE, David. Language of Fiction. London: Routledge and Keegan Paul (1966). A book of critical essays by this British novelist. Near fine in a near fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
192. LOPEZ, Barry. Children in the Woods. Eugene: Lone Goose Press (1992). An elaborate production, handset and printed on handmade papers, using dyes made from colored plant pulp to suggest the colors of the woods to which the essay refers. Handbound into attractive wrappers, with a fern image on the cover, the whole laid into a folding clamshell box. This is one of only 5 lettered copies signed by the author and the artist, Margaret Prentice. The colophon does not indicate that there was a lettered issue, only that there were 75 numbered copies. A printed note laid into this volume indicates that the publisher bought back several unbound copies from the author for a nominal fee, binding them up for sale as a special issue to benefit the press--a considerate gesture on the part of the author. This is the scarcest issue of a Barry Lopez title that we know of.
193. LURIE, Alison. The Nowhere City. London: Heinemann (1965). The first edition of her second book, published in the U.K. prior to being released in the U.S., although the author is American. Lurie won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 for her novel Foreign Affairs. Fine in a fine dust jacket and inscribed by the author.