Holiday List, A-B
2. ABBEY, Edward. Author's Corrected Sheets for Confessions of the Barbarian. A set of corrected manuscript sheets for the small Capra volume, Confessions of a Barbarian, which was an excerpt from the book later published as The Fool's Progress. Consists of a 14-page "Editor's Introduction" in which Abbey recounts his first meeting with "Henry Lightcap," the narrator of the novel, plus photocopied typescript paginated from 1 to 74. Pages 32 & 33 and 46 & 47 are missing, which is noted by an editor on a laid in card. The sheets reproduce numerous holographic changes in Abbey's hand, with words, phrases and sentences being crossed out, written over and added to--thus providing a view of an earlier state of the text than that finally published. Accompanied by an ALS from Abbey, submitting the sheets with corrections and giving alternate titles that can be used. He also mentions that he "may end up calling the novel The (or A) Fool's Progress--another title you can use if you wish. Together with a set of final page proofs, with Abbey's earlier corrections incorporated and one final change in an editorial hand. The letter is dated March 1, 1986; the page proofs are dated March 28. A rare glimpse of an Abbey work-in-progress, with the author's original text and revisions in full view.
3. ANDERSON, Kent. Sympathy for the Devil. Garden City: Doubleday, 1987. The advance reading copy of the well-received first novel by the author of the highly acclaimed Night Dogs. A powerful and well-written novel about the Special Forces in Vietnam, with whom the author served, which confronts the violence of war head-on and explores an individual's capacity for tolerating, and committing, brutality that in any other context would be unthinkable and inhuman. One of the best novels of the war in its lucid portrayal of the devastating effects of the war on even such an elite group as this and thus a powerful antiwar statement without the usual postures and attitudes normally associated with an antiwar message. Shot from typescript, this advance reading copy reproduces numerous holograph corrections and includes several dramatic scenes that were deleted from the final published version. Fine in wrappers and signed by the author.
4. (Anthology). Lord John 10. Northridge: Lord John Press, 1988. An impressive anthology celebrating ten years of the Press's existence, collecting pieces by twenty-six contributors. Including, and signed by, John Updike, Raymond Carver, James Crumley, Ray Bradbury, William Everson, Jim Harrison, Tess Gallagher, Joyce Carol Oates, James Purdy, Derek Walcott, former President Gerald Ford, and many others. This is the deluxe edition, one of 75 copies quarterbound in leather. Fine, without dust jacket, as issued.
5. (ARNOW), Harriette Simpson. Mountain Path. NY: Covici Friede (1936). The extremely elusive first book by this Kentucky writer, author of The Dollmaker, among others. Offsetting to endpapers and some foxing to pages and page edges. Still a near fine copy in a fine dust jacket, and one of the scarcest first books by a twentieth century American woman writer. Signed by the author. We have not seen another copy of this offered for years, let alone such an attractive copy as this. A rare high spot of any collection of writing by American women.
6. ARNOW, Harriette. The Dollmaker. London: Heinemann (1955). First English edition of her best-known novel, which deals with a family uprooted from their native region and relocated to the urban confusion of Detroit during the Second World War. This book was a bestseller upon publication in the U.S. and later became a contemporary classic of feminist literature and a standard on college campuses because of the strength of its central, female character. This copy has a tear at the upper edge of the front endpaper, otherwise very good in an edgeworn pictorial dust jacket, which differs markedly from the U.S. edition. Warmly inscribed by the author "for/ Virginia Patterson/ who in no/ small measure/ was responsible for/ the success of the/ American edition, not/ this poor substitute/ Harriette Simpson Arnow/ Thanks for the pen" [her pen ran out of ink during the inscription]. Laid into the book are two autograph Christmas cards with lengthy notes on them. Signed copies of this book, and autograph material by Arnow, are quite uncommon.
7. -. Same title, the American edition (NY: Macmillan, 1954). The true first edition. Near fine in a price-clipped, near fine dust jacket, and signed by the author. An attractive copy of an important and uncommon book, seldom found signed.
8. ATWOOD, Margaret. The Trumpets of Summer. (Toronto): (Berandol Music) (1964). An early, ephemeral piece by Atwood--a libretto for a choral suite for mixed chorus, four soloists, male speaker, and six instruments; commissioned by the CBC for the Shakespeare Quatercentenary. First performed in Montreal on November 29, 1964. Music by John Beckwith; although only the text is printed here. Fine in stapled wrappers. It is unlikely that many of these would have been created, let alone have survived all this time. A scarce, early item, preceding her first novel by five years.
9. BEAGLE, Peter S. The Last Unicorn. NY: Viking (1968). Advance review copy of this fantasy classic. Fine in a fine dust jacket, and inscribed by the author: "For ___ & ___ - the one I broke my ass over..." One of Pringle's 100 Best Modern Fantasy Novels. An extraordinary copy of a book that, because of its soft, unlaminated dust jacket, seldom turns up in such condition, let alone in an advance issue and with the author's revealing inscription. Probably as nice a copy as could be hoped for.
10. BECKETT, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. NY: Grove Press (1954). The first English-language edition of Beckett's masterpiece, which defined the Theater of the Absurd and created for its author an immediate spot in the literary pantheon, culminating in his being awarded the Nobel Prize. An early Grove Press title which has become, like several other titles from the early years of the press, exceedingly scarce--much scarcer than the Faber edition later published in Great Britain. Considered by many the single most important play of the 20th century. This copy has the ownership name of playwright Jerome Kilty on the front flyleaf and the imprint of an erased text on the rear endpaper; otherwise a near fine copy in a good, largely black, unlaminated dust jacket which wears easily and shows wear readily. The jacket is spine-darkened and rubbed at all folds with light chipping at the extremities. Our experience with this title in recent years suggests that its is comparable to that of Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird and that, like that title, even very good copies are exceedingly scarce--and fine, or even near fine, copies are very few and far between. A decent copy of one of the scarcest high spots of modern literature, with good literary provenance.
11. BECKETT, Samuel. Murphy. NY: Grove Press (1957). The first American edition of his first novel, originally published in 1938, this being the limited edition, one of 100 numbered copies signed by the author. Mild foxing to top edge; else fine in a near fine original acetate dust jacket chipped at the crown. An attractive copy of a scarce and important first novel.
12. BECKETT, Samuel. Lessness. London: Calder & Boyars (1970). A short work of prose fiction, one of 100 numbered copies, quarterbound in calf and signed by the author. Translated by the author from the French, which was published the year before. This is the first English edition, distributed in advance of the trade issue. Spine very slightly darkened but still fine in cloth slipcase.
13. BERGER, Thomas. Little Big Man. NY: Dial, 1964. The author's third and most famous novel, a tragicomic history of the American West, which was immortalized on film. Fine in a very good dust jacket with a few small edge tears, some crimping to the spine (endemic to this title) and modest rubbing. A nice copy, with much less of the fading to the dust jacket spine than is usually the case. Signed by the author.
14. BIOY CASARES, Adolfo. La Invencion de Morel. BA: Losada (1940). His first novel, winner of the first Municipal Prize for Literature of the City of Buenos Aires and a seminal work in modern Latin American literature, with a now-famous introduction by Borges in which he praises the novel as an exemplary instance of the narrative of "reasoned imagination" and "verbal artifice," thus supplying parameters and context both for the appreciation of this particular novel and also for the use of fiction to probe intellectual problems. Inscribed by Bioy Casares to a fellow author in the year of publication. Mild offsetting and foxing; still near fine in wrappers, in a near fine, internally strengthed dust jacket. A scarce and fragile book, very uncommon in dust jacket, and more so inscribed.
15. BORGES, Jorge Luis. El Tamaño de Mi Esperanza. Buenos Aires: Editorial Proa, 1926. Borges' fourth book, and second book of prose, published by his own small, avant-garde press ("Proa" means "prow" in Spanish, indicative of Borges and his literary compatriots' placing themselves at the forefront of contemporary literature). The title translates as "The Dimension of My Hope" and the hope expressed in this collection of essays was that Argentine literature and culture would have an identity of its own, rather than being a poor cousin to European culture. His own writings went a long way toward fulfilling that goal, and the Latin American writing of the postwar "boom" period is widely recognized as the most vibrant and innovative literature of our time, yielding a number of Nobel Prize winners, the advent of "magical realism," and the refinement of the figure of author-statesman that has been largely abandoned elsewhere. Ink stamps front flyleaf and title page; very good in spine-faded wrappers with chipping at extremities and a chip to the upper edge of the front cover. Still, a very nice copy of a fragile book that has survived remarkably well. The size of the printing is unknown, but the two books published by Proa prior to this had printings of 300 and 500 copies, respectively. This copy is warmly inscribed by the author to a longtime friend in his meticulous early hand: "A Roberto Godel, de su amigo epistolarmente haragÁn, pero que lo quiere y lo admira - Jorge" ["To Roberto Godel - from your lazy letter-writing friend, but who loves and admires you - Jorge"]. An exceptional inscription on one of Borges' earliest and scarcest books, a seminal work in the development of 20th century Latin American literature. Borges has been called the greatest writer of the century who never won the Nobel Prize--a fact his advocates say diminishes the Prize, not the author.
16. (BORGES, Jorge Luis and BIOY-CASARES, Adolfo). "BUSTOS DOMECQ, H." Seis Problemas para Don Isidro Parodí. Buenos Aires: Sur (n.d.) . First edition of this collection of six short mysteries, chosen by Ellery Queen for inclusion in the "Queen's Quorum" list of the best mysteries of all time some 40 years prior to its translation and publication in this country. Inscribed by "H. Bustos Domecq" in Bioy-Casares' hand--the pseudonym being the one he and Borges, good friends, used on their collaborations. Pages browned with age and brittle. Original wrappers; age-darkened, still very good. A very nice copy of a landmark book which, like many Latin American novels, is extremely cheaply made and thus exceedingly fragile.
17. BORGES, Jorge. Nueve Poemas. Buenos Aires: (D. Franscisco A. Columbo), 1955. One of 50 numbered copies of one of Borges' scarcest titles. Signed by Borges and Francioni, (presumably the book's designer or printer) and with an original signed watercolor by Santiago Cogorno, the book's illustrator. Unbound signatures laid into glassine-covered wrappers, fine; encased in a folding chemise that has been professionally strengthened at edges, and a slipcase that is moderately worn and foxed. Overall an attractive and sound copy of one of the scarcest items by Borges, who is considered by many to be one of the half-dozen most important figures in 20th century world literature.
18. BORGES, Jorge Luis. Ficciones. NY: Grove (1962). Winner of the Prix Formentor, and Borges' first book published here, a collection of his short "fictions." By the time of his first book publication in English, Borges was already considered one of the great figures of 20th century world literature, both in Latin America and in Europe, where he had lived for two decades in the early part of the century. His translations of Faulkner and Kafka had helped to bring those writers to a Spanish-speaking audience, and the literary magazines he edited and contributed to published the most current and innovative writing from Europe and the U.S. as well as from his native Argentina. His inventive, ironic and self-reflexive fictions influenced an entire generation of writers in Europe and the U.S. as well as in Latin America, where they helped lay the foundation for the "boom" in Latin American literature that occurred in the postwar period. At the time of the publication of this book, Borges was in his 60's and was nearly totally blind. This copy is signed by the author, with his characteristic, nearly illegible signature and mark. Spotting to top edge and lower front board; slight bump to base and one corner; still near fine in a near fine dust jacket rubbed at the folds and with light wear to the extremities. An attractive copy of Borges' most famous book, seldom found signed.
19. BORGES, Jorge Luis. Labyrinths. (NY): New Directions (1962). The second of his books to be published in English, a selection of various of his short stories and essays from several earlier volumes that had only been published in Spanish. Together with Ficciones, this book established Borges as one of the leading lights of contemporary literature for an English-speaking audience, and the books were reprinted throughout the Sixties and Seventies, never falling out of print and becoming staples on college campuses, both in the curriculum and outside of it. This copy has light foxing to page edges; else fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket. A beautiful copy of a book that, because of its bright blue, unlaminated jacket, is notoriously prone to showing wear.
20. BORGES, Jorge Luis. The Congress. London: Enitharmon Press, 1974. Of a total edition of 300, this is one of 50 numbered copies signed by the author and by the translator, Norman Thomas di Giovanni. This copy has also been signed by Hugo Manning, the artist of the tipped-in frontispiece. An attractively produced edition, which has become scarce even in the regular issue, and rare in the signed limited issue. Fine, in an edge-worn acetate dust jacket.
21. BOWLES, Paul. The Hours After Noon. London: Heinemann (1959). His second collection of stories, never published in the U.S., in part because Bowles was afraid of the reaction that one of the stories--about a black housekeeper--would engender in the racially sensitive U.S. Mild spotting to top edge, else fine in a very near fine dust jacket with a hint of wear to the crown. A nice copy of an uncommon book.
22. BOWLES, Paul. Scenes. Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1968. The first volume of Bowles' poetry since his exceedingly scarce first book, published some 35 years earlier. These poems date from 1934-1940, the period in his career when he was primarily writing music and well before his first novel was published. This is an early Black Sparrow Press publication and also Bowles's first signed limited edition, done with a total printing of 300 copies of which this is one of 50 hardbound copies, the entire hardcover edition. Signed by the author. Fine.
23. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. Lay the Marble Tea. San Francisco: Carp Press, 1959. Brautigan's extremely scarce third book, and his first collection of poems (his earlier two books were each a single poem). Published a year after his first book, The Return of the Rivers. A small pamphlet, printing twenty-four poems, with a cover illustration by Kenn Davis, and an epigraph by Emily Dickinson, from whom the title is taken. Slight yellowing to the covers, but still a near fine copy of this exceedingly rare and fragile early Brautigan title. Signed by Kenn Davis, who did the cover artwork.
24. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. The Galilee Hitch-Hiker. (San Francisco): (Cranium) (1966). Second edition of Brautigan's scarce second book, originally published in 1958 in an edition of 200 copies. This edition was limited to 700 copies. This copy is inscribed in the month of publication to Brautigan's close friend, Andrew Cole. Brautigan and Cole were roommates for a time in San Francisco; they were both lovers of Michaela Le Grand, whom Brautigan called his "muse" (and who appeared with Brautigan in the cover photograph of Trout Fishing in America). An uncommon book, rare signed, and an exceptional association copy.
25. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. In Watermelon Sugar. San Francisco: Four Seasons Foundation (1968). Writing 21 in the Four Seasons Foundation series. The first edition of this lyrical book which defies easy categorization: a novel in the form of a number of short, related prose poems. This is the issue in wrappers, signed by the author in the year of publication. (There were 50 signed hardcover copies). Although Brautigan was not averse to signing books, his popularity was such that most copies that turn up signed are later printings. First editions with contemporary signatures or presentations are quite scarce. Light rubbing to front cover and a couple of spots on the spine, otherwise fine.
26. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. Please Plant this Book. (San Francisco): (Mackintosh) (1968). Card stock folder illustrated with photographs and containing eight seed packets, each printed with a poem by Brautigan. A very near fine copy with the seed packets intact, the seeds still present, and the folder only lightly rubbed along the spine. Scarce thus. An artifact of the Sixties: it was given away free, with copyright also freely given on the condition that the book not be sold.
27. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. The Hawkline Monster. NY: Simon & Schuster (1974). Uncorrected proof copy of the first of Brautigan's several "genre" novels-- inventive takes on established conventions in fiction, this one being, as he called it, "A Gothic Western." This is a fine copy in wrappers and is inscribed by the author. Uncommon in proof format, even unsigned.
28. -. Same title, a review copy of the trade edition. Partially signed by the author: "Richard Brau." Fine in a fine dust jacket.
29. BUKOWSKI, Charles. 20 Tanks from Kasseldown. (n.p.: n.p., n.d.). Bukowski's first "separate" publication, a broadside only published as part of Black Sun Press Portfolio III, in 1946, and which precedes his first book by 13 years. 12" x 16", both sides. One spot upper corner, not affecting text. Near fine. A nice copy of an uncommon, early piece by Bukowski, the consummate street poet.
30. BUKOWSKI, Charles. The Other. [Hamburg: Gingko Press, n.d.]. The only copy of this book, never published in this form. Published several years later in an illustrated edition, by a different publisher. A story by Bukowski which was going to have been published by the Gingko Press in Hamburg, but the project was canceled. This is the printer's dummy (labeled #1/1) and is as close to publication as the book ever got. Attractively designed on sheets that would have been a mockup of the final design had the project gone forward. With a signed drawing by Bukowski tipped to the front cover. Soft covers, tenuously tapebound; otherwise fine. The earliest form of this title, and the unique, single example of this edition. A Bukowski rarity.
31. (BUKOWSKI, Charles). Coffin 1. Eureka: Hearse Press (n.d.) . One of 150 copies of this collection of 41 pamphlets and broadsides, four of which are Bukowski's: "His Wife, the Painter," "The Old Man on the Corner," "Waste Basket," and "The Paper on the Floor." "His Wife, the Painter" was Bukowski's first separately published work, preceding his first book by several months. This broadside was printed in 1960 in an edition of 201 copies, 50 of which, deckle edged, with a small blindstamp and slightly larger than this 5" x 11" size, were privately distributed to friends of Bukowski and the publisher in 1960, and the "remaining 150 kept for inclusion in Coffin 1." [Dorbin B1]. Slight creasing to a few of the corners of the 41 pieces and light top edge sunning; still fine in publisher's portfolio. Also includes Henry Miller's watercolor reproduction "Dream of Fredericksburg."
32. BURKE, James Lee. The Convict. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State U. Press, 1985. A short story collection, the author's scarcest trade book, 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. Very slight spine-cocking; else fine in a fine dust jacket and signed by the author.
33. BURKE, James Lee. To the Bright and Shining Sun. (Huntington): (Cahill) (1992). The publisher's archive for the limited reissue of Burke's scarce second book, a regional novel set among mine workers in the Cumberland mountains of Kentucky--the first time this book was reprinted after its original publication in 1970. Including the typescript of Burke's introduction to this volume signed by Burke; the printer's blues, signed by Burke; eight original woodcuts signed by artist Joe Servello along with mock-ups for two versions of the title page; and two author "check copies" of the volume, which consist of the folded & gathered sheets laid into the boards, each signed by Burke on the front cloth and on the colophon, and one is additionally signed on the title page. Together with the finished product: one of 400 numbered copies signed by the author, with the new introduction. All elements fine. A unique collection.
34. BURROUGHS, Edgar Rice. Carson of Venus. Tarzana: Burroughs Inc. (1939). Science fiction/adventure from the creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. Fine in a fine dust jacket. An extraordinary copy.
35. BURROUGHS, William. The Soft Machine. NY: Grove (1964). The first American edition, revised from the true first edition published in Paris by Olympia in 1961. This edition was to have been published by Olympia in 1963, and was announced, but was not published until Grove brought it out in 1966. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Inscribed by the author in 1992. One of Burroughs' major novels, signed copies of which are more difficult to find today than one might expect.
36. BURROUGHS, William S. Nova Express. NY: Grove (1964). The author's first novel published in the U.S. after his controversial and ground-breaking The Naked Lunch. Inscribed by the author on Thanksgiving Day, in 1978. Very near fine in a fine dust jacket. A very nice copy of one of his major novels.
37. BURROUGHS, William S. Cobble Stone Gardens. (Cherry Valley): Cherry Valley Editions (1976). One of only 50 copies hand-bound by Michael Scott Cain and numbered and signed by the author. This copy is additionally inscribed by the binder and the author to Arthur and Kit Knight, noted publishers of a number of volumes of work by Beat writers as well as the journal Unspeakable Visions of the Individual, which celebrates Beat literature. An excellent association copy of one of the scarcest editions in the Burroughs canon.