Collection
1965-1999. A collection of books by the noted African-American expatriate writer. Himes left the U.S. for Paris, as did many of his black contemporaries, including Richard Wright and James Baldwin, to escape the pervasive racism of his home country. He met his second wife, Lesley, there and after a long courtship they married. As a mixed race couple they encountered prejudice and in 1969 they moved to Spain, where Chester died in 1984. This collection includes 27 books, 20 titles: four signed or inscribed by Himes and eleven signed or inscribed by his wife, Lesley, all of them to a close friend. As follows:
  • Retour en Afrique [Back to Africa]. Paris: Plon (1965). A French paperback edition. Signed by the author. Age toning and mild foxing, a few small creases; very good in wrappers.
  • Mamie Mason [Pinktoes]. Paris: Plon (1965). A French paperback edition. Signed by the author. Foxing to endpages; very good in wrappers.
  • -. Same title, Pinktoes. (London): Allison & Busby (1989). The hardcover issue of the British edition. Age toning to pages; else fine in a near fine dust jacket.
  • Il pleut des coups durs [If Trouble was Money]. (n.p.): Gallimard (1973). A French paperback reprint. Very good in wrappers.
  • My Life of Absurdity. Garden City: Doubleday, 1976. The first edition of the second volume of his autobiography. Inscribed by the author: "For Dorothy/ with my best wishes/ Chester Himes." Foxed, thus a very good copy in a foxed and price-clipped dust jacket.
  • Plan B. Paris: Lieu Common, 1983. A French paperback edition. Signed by the author in the year of publication. Near fine in wrappers. -. Same title. A French reprint issued after Himes' death in 1984. Inscribed by Lesley Himes in 1985. Foxing to endpages; very good in wrappers.
  • -. Same title. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi (1993). First thus. Inscribed by Lesley Himes "to a very dear friend" in the year of publication, at Christmas. Fine in a near fine, spine-sunned dust jacket. -. Same title, the first paperback printing of the University Press of Mississippi edition, also 1993. Inscribed by Lesley Himes, "with love." The half-title with the inscription has been torn out and it now laid in. Very good in spine-faded wrappers.
  • Hard-Boiled Dicks No. 8-9: Chester Himes. Paris, 1983. A special issue (in French) dedicated to Himes. Includes work by James Sallis. Inscribed by Lesley Himes, who has signed it "with love/ Chester & Lesley." Foxed; near fine in stapled wrappers.
  • A Case of Rape. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1984. First thus. Foxing to edges of text block; very good in good, edgeworn and spine-sunned dust jacket.
  • If He Hollers, Let Him Go. London: Pluto (1986). First Pluto printing. Inscribed by Lesley Himes in the year of publication. Very good in wrappers.
  • La troisieme generation [The Third Generation]. (n.p.): Gallimard (1986). First printing of this French reprint. Inscribed by Lesley Himes in the year of publication. Minor foxing; near fine in wrappers.
  • Faut etre negre pour faire ca...[Something In a Colored Man]. (Paris): Lieu Common (1986). Foxed endpages; very good in wrappers.
  • Corre, Hombre [Run Man Run]. (Barcelona): Plaze & Janes (1988). First printing of this Spanish edition. Inscribed by Lesley Himes. A foxed paperback; very good in a very good dust jacket.
  • -. Same title. (London): Alison & Busby (1997). First printing of this English edition. Cocked; very good in wrappers.
  • The Real Cool Killers, The Heat's On, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Blind Man with a Pistol, A Rage in Harlem. NY: Vintage Crime, 1988-1989. First printings of five of six volumes in the Vintage Books paperback reprint series (missing The Crazy Kill). Cotton Comes to Harlem has some edge creasing; otherwise the set is near fine in wrappers.
  • The Quality of Hurt. NY: Paragon House (1990). First printing of this U.S. paperback edition of the first volume of Himes's autobiography. Spine sunned; very good in wrappers.
  • The Collected Stories of Chester Himes. NY: Thunder's Mouth Press (1991). First American edition. Inscribed by Lesley Himes in 1992, "with much love." Near fine in a near fine, edge-sunned dust jacket.
  • -. Same title, fourth printing, 2000. With a signed notation by Lesley Himes dated 2001: "I put this book of short stories together because they are a very important part of Chester's work and very different from all the other books. Enjoy!" Paperback. Gently read; very good in wrappers.
  • Lonely Crusade. (Edinburgh): Payback Press (1997). First thus, with an introduction by Richard Wright. One page corner turned, about near fine in wrappers.
  • Yesterday Will Make You Cry. NY: Norton (1998). Second printing of this edition of Himes' 1953 novel Cast the First Stone, here published in its original version, as Himes first intended. Inscribed by Lesley Himes, "with much love" in 1998. Near fine in a fine dust jacket.
  • -. Same title, Por el pasado lloraras. (Barcelona): Muchnik (1999). First thus. Inscribed by Lesley Himes, "with best wishes/ Yesterday will make you cry." Fine in self-wrappers.
Together with a handful of newspaper clipping and photocopies of articles about Himes, his work, and his wife; some on "xerox" paper and much faded. Also included is a copy of a 2005 email to Lesley Himes regarding the theatrical production of La reine des pommes (A Rage in Harlem). Himes's books all addressed the racism that was endemic in the U.S. Several of them used the form of the detective story -- a series featuring Harlem detectives "Coffin" Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones that is highly regarded by aficionados of the mystery genre -- to explore social issues. Himes wrote an autobiography, My Life of Absurdity, and the crime novelist and mystery scholar and historian James Sallis wrote a biography of him in 2000. [#030736] $1,500

All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.

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