Raymond Carver, "A" Items, section 2
"A" Items - Books by Raymond Carver, section 2
Cathedral - A15
Carver's third collection of stories to be published by a major trade publisher, and a major literary event which confirmed Carver's preeminent place among American short story writers of the day. In an interview he gave shortly after the publication of this book, Carver said that it was his favorite of his collections and remarked that he rewrote some of the stories from earlier versions, putting back in descriptions and scenes which had been pared out earlier. At this point in his career, Carver was respected enough and was seen as enough of a literary fixture--practically an institution--that he was being "blamed" for the minimalist trend in contemporary American fiction. It appears that, in the interview, he was consciously trying to set the record straight, claiming that the stories in this collection would bear him out. Carver was never a "minimalist," per se, in that he never attempted to strip out emotion, meaning, or even affect: his art was in capturing the artlessness of his subjects and their lack of articulate expressiveness, even as he strove to convey the power of their feelings.
42. First edition, uncorrected proof copy. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1983. A fine copy in wrappers, signed by the author.
43. -. Another copy, unsigned. Fine in wrappers.
44. First trade edition, advance review copy. Fine in fine dust jacket, with publisher's slip, photograph, and promotional card laid in. Inscribed by the author "with my good wishes always." Additionally signed by the author on the title page. In a handsome custom quarter leather clamshell case.
45. -. Same title, not a review copy. Previous owner's name and address, otherwise fine in a price-clipped dust jacket.
46. First paperback edition. New York: Vintage Contemporaries (1984). Cathedral was one of the books chosen to introduce the "Vintage Contemporaries" line of literary paperbacks--a publishing success that changed paperback publishing dramatically virtually overnight by prompting most major New York trade publishers to follow suit with their own lines of literary paperbacks; the result has been a larger number of significant literary works being reprinted than ever before, including older works, long out of print. This copy is fine in wrappers and inscribed by the author to his mother in the month prior to publication-- "For my mother,/ with love and/ good luck in/ your new house./ Ray./ Pt. Angeles./ August 18, 1984." Enclosed in an attractive custom quarter leather clamshell case.
47. -. Same title, inscribed by the author to Irish poet John Montague in the month after publication: "For John Montagu [sic], with my good wishes,/ and my admiration./ Ray. Carver/ Syracuse/ Oct. 3, 1984." Montague is one of the most respected of contemporary Irish poets, and his work has been described in terms that are reminiscent of Carver's own writing--"There is something tight-lipped about John Montague's poetry... where enjambment projects the reader into sudden peripaties and reversals, and the shifts of pace and meaning have the effect of a clipped curt rebuff. Yet within these constraints, the poetry can flower into an unexpected, lyric generosity... It's the puritanical tautness of his speech that can bring off such large gestures..." Near fine in wrappers. An excellent association between two prominent contemporary writers. Carver association copies are extremely scarce, more likely because few writers have relinquished their Raymond Carver books than for a lack of generosity with inscriptions on Carver's part.
48. -. Another copy, fine in wrappers, unsigned.
49. -. First English edition. London: Collins (1984). Fine in fine dust jacket and signed by the author.
50. -. Another copy, fine in dust jacket, unsigned.
If It Please You - A16
A limited edition published by Lord John Press, one of the small publishing houses specializing in such editions. Done in two states, both hardcover--200 numbered copies in cloth and boards, and 26 lettered copies quarterbound in leather.
51. First edition, lettered issue. Northridge: Lord John Press, 1984. One of 26 lettered copies, quarterbound in leather, signed by the author.
52. First edition, numbered issue. One of 200 copies quarterbound in cloth and signed by the author.
My Crow - A17
My Crow was the first collaboration between Raymond Carver and publisher William Ewert, and they went on to have a long and productive relationship. A simple production consisting of a single poem on a 4¼" x 11" sheet, folded once to make four pages. The first page reproduces a Thomas Bewick woodcut of a crow. There were two issues done--150 plain copies and 36 deluxe copies, numbered and signed by Carver. The deluxe copies were sewn into red French-folded wrappers. The colophon indicates that all 186 copies were "for private distribution by the author and the publisher."
53. First edition, signed issue. (Concord: William B. Ewert, 1984.) The deluxe issue, limited to 36 numbered copies signed by the author. Fine in wrappers.
54. First edition, unsigned issue. Limited to 150 copies. Fine.
For Tess - A18
The second Carver-Ewert collaboration, a much more elaborate production than the first. This is a 20" x 14" broadside, produced by Claire Van Vliet using a "paper landscape" approach--different colors and textures of paper are combined to create the effect of a landscape painting. Carver's touching poem--a reflection on death--is dedicated to Tess Gallagher, his longtime companion.
55. First edition. Concord: William B. Ewert, 1984. Limited to 125 numbered copies signed by the author and Claire Van Vliet. A beautiful production, attractively framed.
56. (Unrelated variant issue of this poem). A single photo-reproduced sheet with the poem "For Tess" on it. Inscribed by the author to Irish poet John Montague "with my every good wish and my admiration" and dated October 1984. Folded twice, approximately into quarters; light stain; very good. An excellent association copy between Carver-the-poet and one of the foremost contemporary Irish poets, whose work resonates with a sensibility similar to Carver's own.
This Water - A19
This Water was the first book produced by Ewert and Carver. There were two issues of it--100 copies in wrappers and 36 copies in cloth and light blue boards. This is the first Ewert production that was a collection rather than a single poem. It includes eight poems, none of which had appeared in book form before, and only two had been published anywhere. This was also the first Ewert production to have a special advance issue prepared, in addition to the published versions. This grouping includes all the publisher's variants as well as the original corrected galleys.
57. First edition, advance galley proofs. Concord: William B. Ewert, 1985. Long galley sheets, approx. 7" x 24", with numerous corrections in Carver's hand, including adding the poems' titles, typesetting instructions (adding/closing spaces, etc.) and changes to the text, including both additions and deletions. Initialled by the author "O.K." on 11-19-84. In addition, a display proof of the tile page design is laid in, together with an interesting letter from the publisher to the author touching on this and two other projects currently in-progress-- For Tess and My Crow. A unique look at a Carver work-in-progress.
58. First edition, publisher's advance copy. One of eight prepublication copies prepared by the publisher, consisting of 13 loose sheets, 9" x 12", in double flat gatherings printed on rectos only. Numbered, dated and signed by the publisher on the top sheet. Of the eight copies so prepared, this is one of six with a blue and white label on the folding card-stock case. Very fine.
59. First edition, hardcover issue. Limited to 36 copies quarterbound in grey linen with blue spine label and blue boards, and signed by the author. Fine.
60. First edition, wrappered issue. One of 100 copies in blue self-wrappers, signed by the author. Fine.
Where Water Comes Together With Other Water - A20
This was Carver's first collection of poetry to be published by a New York publisher--17 years after his first book, and only after he had had three highly praised collections of stories published. The book was published by Random House, the parent company of Alfred A. Knopf and Vintage, which published his fiction in hardcover and softcover, respectively. It won the prestigious Levinson prize from Poetry magazine.
61. First edition, uncorrected proof copy. New York: Random House (1985). Advance proof copy of the collection. Fine in wrappers.
62. First trade edition, advance review copy. Advance copy with publisher's review slip, photo, and promotional card laid in. Signed by the author. Fine in fine dust jacket.
63. First trade edition. Inscribed by the author to his brother on the day before publication: "For my brother, James,/ with love -/ and for Norma, with good wishes./ Ray./ Port Angeles/ April 30, 1985." A very nice, warm association. Fine in fine dust jacket.
64. First paperback edition. New York: Vintage Books (1986). Fine.
The Stories of Raymond Carver - A21
This British collection comprises all the stories from Carver's first three major collections, and represents the first British publication of the stories from Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? It was only issued in wrappers, apparently in small enough numbers that the book was reprinted quickly and has remained somewhat elusive in the first printing.
65. First edition. (London): Picador (1985). This is a fine copy in wrappers, inscribed by the author in the year of publication: "For Colin -/ with regards,/ Ray. Carver./ 5-16-85./ London." A very nice copy of an uncommon book that is especially scarce signed.
66. -. Another copy, unsigned. Pages yellowing; small stain to foredge otherwise very good.
67. Third printing. (London): Picador (1985). Like the second printing cited by Stull in his note in the ABC checklist, the cover of this was changed, and is stamped in blue as well as yellow-gold and black. The publication information on this printing varies slightly from both the first and second printings, citing a new association of Picador with Collins. This copy is fine in wrappers and inscribed by the author to his brother and sister-in-law "with love," in 1988. A fine association.
Dostoevsky: A Screenplay - A22
Published in Capra's "Back-to-Back" series, this screenplay by Carver and Tess Gallagher was bound together with "King Dog," by Ursula LeGuin. It was only issued in wrappers. It remains Carver's only screenplay that has been formally published, although Stull cites three others that he wrote.
68. First edition, signed limited issue. (Santa Barbara): Capra Press, 1985. One of 200 numbered copies signed by the authors on a tipped in sheet. LeGuin has also signed her half of the book.
69. -. Another copy, again signed by the authors; slightly soiled on the bottom edge of pages, otherwise very fine.
70. First edition, trade issue. Fine in wrappers, unsigned.
The Window - A23
A small broadside poem on heavy, textured card stock, measuring 8½" x 5½". Like My Crow a year earlier, these were printed "for private distribution" as a holiday greeting. There were variant issues of 100 unsigned copies, 36 numbered and signed, 5 ad personam signed copies, and 14 unsigned copies issued as parts of a set of seven cards by seven different poets. All copies of the regular signed issue were also issued originally in a set of seven separate cards, each signed by the poet. Additionally, there were 15 lightweight copies printed up, and Carver reportedly signed "most" of them.
71. First edition, signed issue. Concord: William B. Ewert, 1985. One of 36 numbered copies signed by the author, this being copy number 14. A fine copy of this small item.
72. -. Another copy, this being number 17 of 36. Together with six other poetry cards by poets William Bronk, Donald Hall, William Heyen, Galway Kinnell, May Sarton and W.D. Snodgrass, each of them numbered "17" and signed by the authors. Enclosed in the original envelope imprinted "Seven Holiday Greetings for 1985." For the complete set:
73. First edition, variant issue. One of 15 (according to Stull's checklist) unnumbered copies on lightweight, lavender-tinted card stock. This one is signed by Raymond Carver. Fine.
Glimpses - "A23.1"
Glimpses is the first separate edition of two stories that appeared in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and is a beautifully produced volume. It was done as a college fine printing project by a student at Smith College, Catheryn Yum. She designed, typeset, printed and bound the edition, as well as illustrating it with a tipped-in, hand-drawn lithograph. It is printed in two colors on high quality, heavy paper, with embossed running headers; the binding is plain grey buckram with a grey paper label. It was issued without dust jacket. The entire edition consisted of 15 numbered copies, along with 4 proofs or trial bindings.
74. First edition. Northampton: Basement Press, 1985. Of a total edition of 15 numbered copies, this is copy number 15, and is signed by Catheryn Yum, the book's designer and printer. This copy belonged to Yum, and laid into it are several pieces of ephemera pertaining to the production of the volume: most notable among these is the original autograph letter from Yum to Carver's publisher, requesting permission to reprint two stories for a project for her typography class. Interestingly, she wrote to McGraw-Hill, publisher of Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, for permission to use two stories that she did not end up using. At the bottom of the sheet, Carver has written his personal reply to her, which reads, in part: "You have my permission, and gladly, for you to use the above mentioned stories in the manner in which you describe." Yum has appended a note on the same sheet indicating that this was the only response that Carver wrote himself; the permission to use the stories she actually ended up using, which came from a book published by Knopf, came in the form of "your basic form letter from a secretary." A separate sheet details, in Yum's hand, the total extent of the edition, the number of print runs and the type of media and hardware used. Lastly, she has laid in a photocopy of a two-page letter she wrote Carver after the book was finished (apparently enclosing a copy to him). In all, a fine copy of one of the scarcest of Carver's bound volumes, together with his letter of permission to the publisher and her details of the book's production. A unique copy of a rare book.
Early for the Dance - A24
A Ewert production. Like This Water, Early for the Dance was done in an edition of 100 copies in wrappers and 36 hardcover copies. All were signed by Carver. In addition, there were 10 sets of advance sheets prepared by the publisher--consisting of twelve 9" x 12" double flat gatherings printed on the rectos only, laid into a grey folding card-stock case.
75. First edition, publisher's advance copy. Concord: William B. Ewert, 1986. Limited to 10 copies. Loose sheets in a folder, with a card laid in presenting the sheets with compliments, indicating the limitation, and signed by the publisher. A fine set of this rare advance issue.
76. First edition, hardcover issue. Limited to 36 Roman-numeraled copies signed by the author. Fine without dust jacket as issued.
77. First edition, wrappered issue. Limited to 100 numbered copies signed by the author. A fine copy.
The River - A25
A broadside, measuring 14" x 20", and the first broadside done by Ewert to be issued in two states that were for sale--100 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies. All copies were signed by Carver and the illustrator, John Jagel.
78. First edition, lettered issue. Concord: William B. Ewert, 1986. Limited to 26 hand-lettered copies signed by the author and the illustrator, John Jagel. Attractively mounted and framed.
79. First edition, numbered issue. One of 100 numbered copies signed by the author and John Jagel. Again, attractively mounted and framed.
Batavia - A26
A large broadside, 20" x 15¾", on heavy white paper, originally issued together with a portfolio of photographs by Joel Gardner, son of John Gardner, the late novelist and a former teacher of Carver's. There were only 60 sets of the photographs prepared--50 numbered sets and 10 lettered--and an unknown, presumably small, number of copies of the broadside over and above those 60. The portfolio reportedly sold for $1500. The broadside is attractively typeset, and all were signed by Carver.
80. First edition. (No place: no publisher, no date). The portfolio that included this broadside was published by Shadow Editions in Burlington, Vermont, in 1986. This is a fine copy, signed by the author.
My Father's Life - A27
The first U.S. book publication of this memoir by Carver, which originally was published in Esquire and was also included in the British edition of the collection Fires. There were 200 numbered copies in wrappers and 40 Roman-numeraled copies, also in wrappers. All were signed by Carver; the Roman-numeraled copies were also signed by Gaylord Schanilec, the artist who provided the woodcut frontispiece.
81. First edition, deluxe issue. Derry, New Hampshire & Ridgewood, New Jersey: Babcock & Koontz (1986). One of 40 Roman-numeraled copies signed by the author and artist, sewn into Mouchete de Pombie wrappers. This is copy number "I" of the Roman-numeraled edition.
82. -. Another copy, number "III." Fine in wrappers.
83. First edition, numbered issue. One of 200 numbered copies in Fabriano Roma wrappers. Signed by the author. A fine copy.