Nature Writing, A
37. ABBEY, Edward. Desert Solitaire. New York: McGraw-Hill (1968). Abbey's first book of nonfiction, which has over the years attained the status of a classic of nature writing, comparable to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring or Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac. Abbey lays his cards out in the introduction: "This is not a travel guide but an elegy. A memorial. You're holding a tombstone in your hands. A bloody rock. Don't drop it on your foot -- throw it at something big and glassy. What do you have to lose?" In later years, Abbey's (and others' -- mostly his friends') exhortations gave birth to the radical environmental movement and such groups as "Earth First!" This book, subtitled "A Season in the Wilderness" but actually an account that spans several seasons, gives the first and clearest indication of Abbey's love for the natural beauty of the Southwest and his contempt for those who would, out of greed or simple ignorance, despoil it. This is a very near fine copy in a near fine dust jacket with tanning to the spine lettering and two short edge tears. A beautiful copy of what may be Abbey's most lasting contribution to the literature of place.
38. -. Another copy. Inscribed by Abbey in 1982. Small label removal abrasion on the front flyleaf and trace wear at the corners; very near fine in a very good, spine-tanned dust jacket with light chipping at the corners. An attractive copy, seldom encountered signed these days.
39. -. Another copy, unsigned. Fine in a very good, lightly edgeworn and price-clipped dust jacket.
40. -. Same title. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1981. The first edition of the hardcover reissue, with an added introduction and drawings by Abbey. Inscribed by the author in 1985. Fine in a spine-faded, near fine dust jacket.
41. ABBEY, Edward and HYDE, Philip. Slickrock. San Francisco/NY: Sierra Club (1971). Large quarto: a book of photographs by Philip Hyde of Utah's "slickrock" canyon country, with text by Abbey. This is a fine copy in a very good dust jacket with several edge chips. Signed by the author. The signature is a bit shaky for Abbey, but a convincing e-mail of provenance from an Earth First! member who was also a government employee is provided. A key book in the Abbey canon, and seldom found signed.
42. ABBEY, Edward and PORTER, Eliot. Appalachian Wilderness. NY: Dutton (1973). The second Dutton edition, in a reduced format. Photographs of the Great Smoky Mountains by Eliot Porter, with text by Abbey. Endpapers and page edges foxed, very good in a near fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
43. - . Same title, the third edition (NY: Arrowood, 1988). Original large quarto format, with different dust jacket design. Very slight corner bump; else fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
44. ABBEY, Edward. Cactus Country. NY: Time-Life Books (1973). A volume in the Time-Life American Wilderness series, heavily illustrated with photographs, with text by Abbey. Near fine without dust jacket, as issued: most of the Time-Life books are sold by subscription, with a relatively small percentage of sales coming through bookstores. Only the copies sent to bookstores, however, had dust jackets to protect them while on the shelf.
45. -. Another copy. One corner bumped; slight spine wear. Very good.
46. -. Same title. One of the rare copies in jacket. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with very slight chipping at the crown.
47. ABBEY, Edward. The Monkey Wrench Gang. Philadelphia: Lippincott (1975). A review copy of his most famous novel, which helped popularize the radical environmental movement. A combination roman à clef and "how-to" manual for direct-action environmentalists, it summarizes Abbey's values -- his hatred of the developers/despoilers of the American Southwest, his sympathy for those who would thwart them in any way at any cost and, most important, his appreciation of the natural beauty of the desert -- from the subtleties of its ecosystems to the grandeur of its scale. Light splaying to boards, a few tiny spots to top edge; very near fine in a fine dust jacket. A nice copy of a book that, because of the thin paper dust jacket, is usually found much more worn.
48. -. Another copy. Inscribed by Abbey in the year of publication. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Again, a very attractive copy, and one that is seldom found signed or inscribed these days.
49. -. Another copy, bearing the ownership signature of former New York City Mayor John Lindsay, and a non-authorial gift inscription to him concluding with "Hayduke Lives!" Near fine in a very good jacket with a chip and an open edge tear.
50. -. Same title, later edition (Salt Lake City: Dream Garden, 1990). A reissue of the 10th anniversary edition of this title, which included artwork by R. Crumb and a chapter deleted from the original edition. This reprint includes additional Crumb artwork that was not in the first reissue, as well as two photographs of Abbey and Crumb in Arches National Park. Near fine in a slightly rubbed dust jacket.
51. ABBEY, Edward. The Journey Home. NY: Dutton (1977). Nonfiction, a collection of essays -- "Some Words in Defense of the American West" -- his first book published after the success of his landmark novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, and the first book of his nonfiction after Desert Solitaire (with the exception of photography books for which he wrote the text). This is the hardcover issue. Remainder mark; else fine in a near fine dust jacket.
52. ABBEY, Edward. The Hidden Canyon. NY: Viking (1977). Second printing. Oblong quarto, heavily illustrated with photographs by John Blaustein. The text, by Abbey, is a journal of a Grand Canyon river trip in wooden dories, retracing John Wesley Powell's trips exploring the Colorado River over a hundred years earlier, and commenting (sometimes wryly) on Powell's own comments. Blaustein's photographs alternate between the rushing rapids, the stillness of the land forms, and the delicacy of the flora and fauna. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket with a small chip at the crown.
53. ABBEY, Edward. Good News. NY: Dutton (1980). The uncorrected proof copy of this novel, a post-apocalyptic vision of the West. Inscribed by the author in 1988. Near fine in wrappers. An uncommon proof, and rare signed.
54. ABBEY, Edward. Down the River. NY: Dutton (1982). The scarce hardcover issue of this collection of essays. Approximately 2000 copies were printed, primarily for libraries, while a simultaneous softcover was issued for the general bookstore trade. Inscribed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket; a beautiful copy of one of the scarcest Abbey books.
55. ABBEY, Edward. Slumgullion Stew. NY: Dutton (1984). A "best of" selection, with much of the contents having been previously published, plus one section from a then-forthcoming novel. This is the simultaneous wrappered issue. Inscribed by Abbey to the poet R.P. Dickey: "Get out of the big apple, R.P./ Abbey/ Oracle '86." Dickey later moved to Taos. A nice literary association copy, something one seldom sees with Abbey titles, as most recipients choose not to part with them. Minor spine crease; else fine.
56. 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 autograph letter signed by 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.
57. ABBEY, Edward. One Life at a Time, Please. NY: Henry Holt (1988). A collection of essays, this being the hardcover edition (there was a simultaneous paperback). Fine in a fine dust jacket.
58. ABBEY, Edward. Original Typescript. .
Abbey's introduction to The Backcountry Handbook, by
Dave Petersen, longtime friend and fellow naturalist.
Three pages, heavily corrected in Abbey's hand. Abbey
writes in his characteristic, vivid, angry style of the
despoilers of the land, beginning: "If there's one thing
that gripes me in my lurching about in America's blessed
but overcrowded back country, it's those androids from the
moronic inferno of contemporary technoculture who
apparently learned outdoors etiquette from the Boy Scout
Handbook of 1928." Abbey excoriates the "Ralph Lauren he-man
Campfire Girls" who abuse the environment through
ignorance and arrogance, and launches into praise of
Petersen's book, which "may help bring [this problem] to an
end, I hope, if it is read by the right people. If they
can read." After praising the book and its editors in
specific terms, Abbey praises it in general, and waxes
poetic on the beauty of the natural world: "Even the oldest
and wisest can learn something useful from this book. Can
learn everything but the simplest and most basic, which is,
of course, love. Love for the land and its wild
inhabitants and the spirit of the landscape itself. That
kind of love can be gained and enjoyed only through
adventure, by getting out there, out there, far
beyond...our tedious, imprisoned lives. Cities and towns
are the GULAG of modern life. Our true home lies outside,
deep in the wilderness of forest and mountain, river and
desert and sea, the source of our being and the destiny of
our great meandering blundering dreaming journey through
time. Like Odysseus in his wanderings, we are homeward
bound whether we know it or not."
Accompanied by an autograph note signed conveying the typescript, which closes, "Su compañero, Ed." Abbey's corrections reflect at least two additional passes through the manuscript after the first draft, one in which his corrections are made by typewriter, and inserted between the double-spaced lines of the original draft, and another in which his corrections are handwritten in pencil. A remarkable view of this iconoclastic environmentalist at work, writing about the things that mattered most to him. Three quarto sheets, folded for mailing, plus the cover letter, which is written on the verso of a letter from Petersen to Abbey; with the original mailing envelope (with an "Earth First!" sticker on it). Fine.
59. ABBEY, Edward. Hayduke Lives! Boston: Little, Brown (1989/1990). The uncorrected proof copy of the posthumously published sequel to the author's masterwork, The Monkey Wrench Gang. One set of staple holes to the front cover; else fine in wrappers.
60. ABBEY, Edward. Vox Clamantis in Deserto. Santa Fe: Rydal Press, 1989. A collection of journal musings, aphorisms and tales completed just before Abbey's death. Apparently, this was to have been issued in a signed limited edition but instead came out posthumously as a numbered, slipcased edition, unsigned. One of 225 copies issued without dust jacket, the entire edition. A trade edition with slightly different content was published the following year. Fine in slipcase.
61. ABBEY, Edward. A Voice Crying in the Wilderness. NY: St. Martin's (1990). Ostensibly the first trade edition of Vox Clamantis in Deserto, but with slightly different content and therefore a separate "A" item, both retitled and re-edited. A small volume; fine in a near fine dust jacket with a coffee ring on the front cover and overall dust soiling.
62. ABBEY, Edward. Earth Apples. The Poetry of Edward Abbey. NY: St. Martin's Press (1994). Edited by Dave Petersen, a longtime friend of Abbey's, with artwork by Michael McCurdy. The only collection of Abbey's poetry published, spanning more than 45 years and reflecting both his playfulness and his passion for the environment. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
63. (ABBEY, Edward). Canyonlands Country. (n.p.): Four Corners Geological Society, 1975. A volume printing the proceedings of the Eighth Field Conference of the society, with a one-page introduction, entitled "Welcome to Canyonlands," by Abbey. The Geological Society is primarily concerned with exploiting the earth and its resources, and the irony of their having had Abbey write their introduction was doubtless lost on the majority of its membership. The advertising scattered throughout the volume, presumably to help pay for its publication, is consistently from oil companies, drillers, "oil field services" companies and the like. Abbey makes a nod toward the need to combine poetry and science -- "Any good poet," he writes, "in our age at least, must begin with the scientific view of the world; while the scientist must be something of a poet, that is, capable of wonder..." He then argues his guts out for preservation. A near fine copy in illustrated boards, without dust jacket, as issued. Scarce.
64. (ABBEY, Edward). Resist Much, Obey Little. Some Notes on Edward Abbey. Salt Lake City: Dream Garden, 1985. A collection of essays about Abbey by such writers as Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, Gary Snyder, William Eastlake, and others. This is the scarce hardcover edition, and reportedly one of only 100 copies to be issued in dust jacket; the rest of the hardcovers were issued unjacketed. Fine in a near fine dust jacket, and very scarce: we have only seen a couple such copies in the past ten years or so.
65. (ABBEY, Edward). CRUMB, R. Promotional Sticker for The Monkey Wrench Gang. (n.p.: n.p., n.d.). A 4 1/4" x 6" peel-and-stick R. Crumb illustration for The Monkey Wrench Gang, done by R. Crumb for the Tenth Anniversary Edition (Salt Lake City: Dream Garden, 1985). A humorous, visually striking and scarce ephemeral piece. Fine.
66. (ABBEY, Edward). CRUMB, R. The 1987 Monkey Wrench Gang Calendar. (Salt Lake City): (Dream Garden Press) (1986). Text from Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang; R. Crumb illustrations from the tenth anniversary edition of the same title, plus five original Crumb illustrations for this production. Notations on a few dates, pin holes from hanging;very good.
67. (ABBEY, Edward). BISHOP, James, Jr. Epitaph for a Desert Anarchist. NY: Atheneum (1994). The first biography of Abbey, although unlikely to be the last. With an epilogue by Charles Bowden, whose own hard-hitting and uncompromising writing is very much in the tradition of Abbey's. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
68. -. Another copy. Remainder mark, creasing to front flyleaf; else fine in a lightly rubbed dust jacket.
69. -. Same title. The uncorrected proof copy. Some rippling to upper edges of the last few pages; near fine in wrappers.
70. ACKERMAN, Diane. A Natural History of the Senses. NY: Random House (1990). The uncorrected proof copy of this examination of human nature as it relates to the five senses, with frequent detours across the lines between nature and culture. Ackerman developed her literary reputation as an award-winning poet and later became a staff writer for The New Yorker. This volume of nonfiction was her first to gain wide critical acclaim and commercial success. Near fine in wrappers.
71. ACKERMAN, Diane. A Slender Thread. NY: Random House (1997). The advance reading copy. Interesting parallels between the author's work at a telephone crisis center and her observations of wildlife in her backyard. Again, Ackerman's poetic sensibility illuminates her perspective on a wide range of topics, finding similarities and connections between seemingly disparate events and phenomena. Near fine in wrappers.
72. ACKERMAN, Diane. Deep Play. NY: Random House (1999). The uncorrected proof copy. Ackerman examines the state of full engagement with one's surroundings or one's abilities, occasionally crossing into her relationship with nature or our estrangement from it. Fine in wrappers, with a few holograph corrections to the text.
73. ADAMS, Richard. Nature Day and Night. Middlesex: Kestrel Books (1978). Adams, author of Watership Down, science writer Max Hooper and artist David Goddard collaborate on this colorful and descriptive book about changes in the natural world in various terrains through a 24 hour period. Fine in a very good dust jacket with one long, closed tape-repaired edge tear down the rear flap fold.
74. AUSTER, Paul. "Paradise Lost." September 1987. A two page proposal for an article to be entitled "Paradise Lost," which will discuss the similarities between three works by Edgar Allen Poe and Thoreau's Walden. Auster contends that all of the works (the Poe pieces are "The Philosophy of Furniture," "The Domain of Arnheim" and "Landor's Cottage") are about the creation of an ideal space and that each work is "actually a response to the same set of problems: the rampant materialism of mid-19th-century America, an accelerating process that had all but eaten away the founding myth of America: that the New World was to become a second paradise, a latter-day Garden of Eden." Each writer, according to Auster, is "commenting on the conditions necessary to maintain himself as a writer, dreaming, in an almost desperate way, of those spaces in which he can still come face to face with himself -- and not be swallowed up by the great iron monster surrounding him on all sides." Corner staple; folded in thirds for mailing; near fine, with hand-addressed mailing envelope.
75. AUSTIN, Mary. The Land of Little Rain. Boston/NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1903. Illustrated by E. Boyd Smith. First edition of the author's first book, an account of the California desert and the Indian people who lived there. Austin later moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, becoming a friend of Mabel Dodge, and pursued her interest in the desert and the Indian cultures of the Southwest. The Land of Little Rain is her most famous book and helped establish her not only as an early American nature writer but also as a pioneering feminist, whose study of the desert and desert cultures was tinged with political consciousness and insight. Owner bookplate front pastedown; additionally, extraneous illustrations and text have been tipped in by a previous owner. Minor wear to the cloth edges; slight spine lean; near fine, without dust jacket, possibly as issued. A very nice copy of an extremely important book.
76. -. Same title, the reissue (NY: Penguin, 1988). With an introduction by Edward Abbey, in which he extols the virtue of Austin's book, and attempts to explain its remarkable longevity. Fine in wrappers.