Weekly Sale


Note: Sale prices are net prices -- no further discounts apply.

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

1982. November 15, 1982. Written to three Yale University English professors, accepting an invitation to a 1984 "Commonwealth of Letters" conference in which Achebe's work was slated to receive special attention. "But even without that peculiar attraction the project sounds so rich and so far away that I should have no hesitation in accepting to be there." Signed by the author. Typed on the stationery of Okike, an African journal of new writing that Achebe edited. Notation of one of the professors that the other two had been copied; folded in thirds for mailing with a couple small edge chips; near fine. [#029904] $375
Garden City, Doubleday, 1986. The uncorrected proof copy of the year's O. Henry Award winners, with first prize awarded to Alice Walker. Other contributors include Bobbie Ann Mason, Alice Adams, Gordon Lish, Peter Cameron, Deborah Eisenberg, Stuart Dybek, Ward Just, and Joyce Carol Oates, who earned a "special award for continuing achievement," even then. Near fine in wrappers. [#014350] $50
NY, Simon and Schuster, 1960. Inscribed by the author to another writer: "From one cat victim to another! All the best, Robert Bloch." With the bookplate of horror writer Stanley Wiater on the front flyleaf. Toning to page edges; sunning to lower board edges. Very good in a very good dust jacket. A good association copy: Bloch is the author of the classic Psycho, among many other works and is a legend in the field; Wiater is a three-time winner of the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Award. [#029292] $250
1933. 23 pages, carbon typescript, with approximately three dozen changes made in Cain's hand, and more than a dozen additional small variations between this text and the published version. Published in American Mercury in November 1933, "Tribute to a Hero," is an autobiographical piece about the Cain family following the father's 1903 job change from St. John's College at Annapolis to Washington College at Chestertown, MD, and the culture shock that ensued from this move to a "hick place" from one of "smartness, competence, and class," a state of affairs that was partially redeemed by the actions of "a great man" (with an assist from Cain's father) on the occasion of a Washington College-Maryland Agricultural College football game. Published the year before his first novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice (and following Our Government in 1930, nonfiction based on Cain's column for New York World). Called "one of Cain's finest essays" by David Madden in James M. Cain: Hard-Boiled Mythmaker. Carbon paper a bit yellowed, some pencil rubbing, not affecting text; near fine. An early manuscript of a boyhood epiphany by a writer who gained a place in the literary pantheon for his famous first novel, which is still considered one of the high spots of American hard-boiled fiction. [#029577] $2,500
London, Secker & Warburg, (1983). The first British edition. Fine in a heavily spine-sunned, near fine dust jacket. [#018032] SOLD
(Santa Claus)
(1956, 1968). In 1897, eight year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Sun, asking, in part, "Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun it's so.' Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?" The reply of Editor Francis P. Church read, in small part, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias...." Church's response became the most reprinted English language newspaper editorial in history. When Virginia O'Hanlon died, in 1971, friends formed a press to publish the editorial and its back story as a children's book; in 1974, the book became an Emmy Award-winning animated television special; and, in 2009, it became a CGI animated television special entitled simply, "Yes Virginia." The items offered here all predate the story's book and animation fame, and include the typescript of a 1956 television appearance by O'Hanlon, a Sun broadside of the editorial, and Two Christmas Classics, which is likely the editorial's first appearance in book form, in 1968. The lot is as follows: 1. The 3-page typescript of a 1956 segment of the television show The Children's Hour, hosted by Ed Herlihy, with guest appearances in this episode by Santa Claus and by Virginia O'Hanlon, who would have been in her late 60s. In it, Santa asks Herlihy if there really is a Virginia, and Herlihy introduces "Dr. Laura Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas," using her married name (kept after her divorce), acknowledging her doctorate (from her career as an educator), and revealing that "Virginia" was actually her middle name. Herlihy then recounts the story of the editorial, and O'Hanlon is given unscripted time to talk about events since, followed with her own reading of Francis P. Church's famous response to her younger self. These pages are stapled to: 2. An undated New York World Telegram/The Sun broadside of the full editorial, entitled "Is There a Santa Claus?," and adding a paragraph at the bottom on "How Editorial Happened to Be Written." 3. A cover letter is included, written on New York World Telegram letterhead and dated October 21, 1956, from a former employee of the paper to "Miss Clements" (Alice Clements, producer of The Children's Hour), saying that he is acquainted with O'Hanlon and feels he can convince her to appear on the show, adding, "Each and every year during the month of December I was shocked by the nation-wide demand for reprints of the Virginia O'Hanlon story." These three items are folded in half, and the corner staple is rusted; they are otherwise near fine. 4. Together with the chapbook Two Christmas Classics, issued by Columbia University Press, ca. 1968, and printing both Church's editorial and Clement Clarke Moore's A Visit from Saint Nicholas ("Twas the night before Christmas") as a holiday keepsake, as both Church and Moore were graduates of Columbia College. (Coincidentally, O'Hanlon received her Masters Degree from Columbia.) The chapbook also prints brief, anonymous, introductions to each. Approximately 4-3/4" x 6-1/2", edge-sunning to the front cover; near fine in stapled wrappers, with a holiday greeting laid in that is signed by Carl B. Hansen, of Columbia University Press. A relatively early grouping of items in the enduring legacy of one child's curiosity and Church's timeless response embodying the meaning of Christmas. [#032276] $2,000
1935. Two pages from Eliot to literary critic F.O. Matthiessen ("Matty"), written "to put in a good word for the boy," Alfred Satterthwaite, at the behest of Satterthwaite's step-father, John Cournos. Satterthwaite was applying "for a scholarship on some foundation in which you [Matthiessen] are in a position of authority." Eliot puts in what good words he can ("although my knowledge of him is very meagre") and then switches subjects to Matthiessen's book, which, although unnamed, would have been The Achievement of T.S. Eliot: "Your book seems to have been earning commendations here, except from the critics in whose eyes the subject matter is enough to damn it. It is impossible for me to regard such a book objectively. All I can say is that I hope that much of what you say is true. By the way, that is a good point about Rose La Touche. Was that pure inspiration, or did we ever mention the subject in conversation?" He closes with a brief note about Ted Spencer and Bonamy Dobree. The letter is signed, "T.S. Eliot." Nice literary and biographical content. On Criterion stationery, with staple holes to the upper left corners, and folded in fourths for mailing; near fine. Mailing envelope included. [#028911] $3,000
NY, Self-Published, (1979). Issue #18 of the pseudonymous Green's self-published newspaper, Newspaper, which he founded in 1957 to extol the writing of William Gaddis, whose first novel appeared in 1955 and was dismissed by critics: "jack green" created "newspaper," and wrote as a literary critic, praising Gaddis' work, and his efforts are believed to have been the spur for the new edition of The Recognitions published in 1962. Gaddis' novel eventually made Time magazine's list of the 100 best novels from 1923 to 2005. Speculation over the years had "green" as actually being Gaddis, or Thomas Pynchon, or "Wanda Tinasky" -- a theorized Pynchon pseudonym -- or all of the above. In actuality he was Christopher Reid, the son of both a novelist and of an editor at a New York publishing house, who dropped out of an insurance industry job to become a freelance writer and editor, and advocate of Gaddis's writing. This issue, published in 1979, is a very late issue in the history of newspaper, and is quite uncommon. Three sheets of 8-1/2 " x 11" paper, folded in half and side-stapled to make a 12-page periodical. Slight rust to staples; still fine. [#032873] $150
NY, Norton, (1990). A collection of short stories, which were published prior to his success with his Thorn mysteries but not collected until after that. Signed by the author. Slight lower corner bumps; else fine in a fine dust jacket. [#004122] SOLD
NY, Basic Books, (1984). One of the first studies to publicize post-traumatic stress disorder. A complimentary copy sent to Robert Stone. Fine in a near fine, spine-faded dust jacket with one small edge tear; also a bit short for the book. [#028648] SOLD
NY, Simon & Schuster, (1971). The second novel by the author of Falling Angel, which has become something of an underground classic over the years. This title is one of the few books we've seen with a blurb by Rod Serling, creator of the television series The Twilight Zone. Inscribed by Hjortsberg to a literary couple in 1993, "that nervous night at MSU - with love and hope" and an added "Whoa" from the mouth of the Simon & Schuster logo. Fine in a near fine, price-clipped dust jacket with one nick at the upper front panel. [#027003] $125
Woodstock, Foul Play Press/Countryman, (1990). The third Mulheisen novel. Inscribed by the author: "For Dorrit Karasek and Steve Krauzer. Two of my good ol' pals. I've got a joke & I'll tell you one day. But thanks for buying this & hope it keeps you awake. Affectionately, Jon Jackson." Fine in a fine dust jacket. [#027922] $175
NY/Philadelphia, Chelsea House, (1996). A volume in the Pop Culture Legends series, with an introduction by Leeza Gibbons of Entertainment Tonight. Bookplate of another author on the front flyleaf. This is a fine copy in the hardcover, library binding. As most copies went to libraries, it is difficult to find in the first printing and fine. [#030345] $150
(NY), Holt Rinehart Winston, (1968). The second and final volume of Kinsley's Custer biography; the author is identified by the publisher as part-Sioux. Slight bumping and rubbing to board edges; else fine in a fine dust jacket. [#016705] SOLD
Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall, (1970). Memoir by the middleweight boxer which was made into an acclaimed 1980 movie by Martin Scorcese starring Robert De Niro as La Motta. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two, including De Niro for Best Actor. This copy is signed by the author. A somewhat uncommon book, having been issued by a publisher better-known for textbooks than for general trade publications. Mild splaying to boards; near fine in a very good, moderately edgeworn dust jacket. Scarce signed, especially in jacket. [#032886] SOLD
Madison, University of Wisconsin, 1947. The first separate appearance; reprinted from Ecological Monographs, January, 1947. 40 pages of phenological records and reporting covering a decade of wild plants, birds, and mammals of the region. Leopold died in 1948, and A Sand County Almanac was published posthumously in 1949. The first paragraph of the introduction of this title is (with one change) the first paragraph of the "January Thaw" section of A Sand County Almanac. Bound in blue buckram, this copy is from the library of Joe Hickey, author of A Guide to Bird Watching, who met Leopold in 1941; took over Leopold's teaching duties in Wisconsin's Department of Game Management upon Leopold's death; and helped to organize the posthumous publication of A Sand County Almanac. Rubbing to boards; offsetting to front pastedown from a 1980 newspaper article laid in (presumably by Hickey) about the historic dates (1852 on) when Wisconsin's lakes close (i.e. ice over). A very good copy, without dust jacket. Scarce. [#031708] $450
NY, Simon & Schuster, 1963. The first American edition of this collection of stories, her first book published after the controversy, and success, of The Golden Notebook. A bit of discoloration to the rear board; near fine in a very good, mildly sunned dust jacket with some staining to the rear panel. [#020369] $20
NY, Viking, 1961. His fourth book, third novel, a tale of an outcast seaman on a World War II troop ship. Inscribed by Matthiessen to his brother-in-law, Kennett Love. Love's ownership signature on front flyleaf and a couple pencilled notes, apparently in his hand, on the rear pastedown. A near fine copy in a very good, spine-sunned dust jacket with a couple closed tears at mid-spine. A nice association copy. [#016306] $750
Alhambra, Museum Reproductions, (n.d.). Eight unused postcards, each reproducing a Miller watercolor from the 40s or 50s, and each signed by Miller on the verso. The paintings included are: "Val's Birthday Gift," "Deux Jeunes Filles," "Marine Fantasy," "Banjo Self-Portrait," "A Bridge Somewhere," "Girl with Bird," "The Ancestor," and "The Hat and the Man." Previously framed, the frames darkened the back of the cards, but the signatures were protected. The lot is near fine. [#027431] $1,200
London, Pan Books, (1981). The first British edition, a paperback. Inscribed by the author in 1983. Stamp of the recipient inside the front cover; near fine in wrappers. [#031050] $40
(Native American Periodical)
(Phoenix), (Media Concepts), 1990-1997. Glossy, four-color magazine devoted to Native American life and arts, published in coordination with a number of museums. Nineteen issues, as follows: Volume 4, Nos. 3, 4; Volume 5, Nos. 1, 3, 4; Volume 6, Nos. 1-4; Volume 7, Nos. 2-4; Volume 8, Nos. 1, 3, 4; Volume 9, Nos. 1, 2, 4; Volume 10, No. 3. The cover of Vol. 9, No. 2 is creased; several issues have modest spine wear; one issue bears the address label of the Greenfield Review; all copies are near fine or better in wrappers. [#025878] $90
Berkeley, Creative Arts Books, 1999. Fine in wrappers. With an autograph note signed laid in, in part explaining, "I wrote it to satirize expert witnesses but set it (for legal reasons) in an offshore republic." [#030085] $20
London, Faber & Faber, (1964). The first British edition of her first book, one of the key works in the renaissance of women's writing that accompanied the feminist movement in the late 1960s. Inscribed by the author to Seymour Lawrence under the front flap: "For the Lawrence of WAKE who still is / Tillie Olsen/ June 1965." Laid in is an autograph note signed: "This for you personally & your wife who looks/ like my Karla / I hope you can reissue these someday, with other/ pieces / And other books./ TLO/ A scrawled on picture where we met." Included is a 3-1/2-inch square black and white photo of Olsen at her desk ("scrawled on" on verso). Olsen's hope was realized: Lawrence re-published this book in 1969; he also published her next books. The note is on 4" x 6" paper; paperclip imprint, else fine. The book is near fine in a very good dust jacket with tiny chipping at the extremities. [#004267] $550
Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1974. The uncorrected proof copy of his well-received first book, the basis for the Philip Kaufman film. Inscribed by the author: "To ___/ may all your Xmases be white. Richard Price." Dated January 24, 1976. Fine in wrappers with a promotional sheet stapled to the first blank. [#028010] $750
(n.p.), (n.p.), [ca. 1997]. Tapebound typescript of this Booker Prize-winning first novel. 248 pages, 8-1/2" x 11", bound in printed light green cardstock covers, and shot from word-processed sheets rather than typeset ones. No indication of publisher (which, in the U.S., was Random House). After the considerable success of this book in England, where it was reprinted numerous times, Random House decided to do a glossy advance reading copy in pictorial wrappers. Consequently, few copies of the standard proof were done. We are aware of another, "in-house" state of the advance copy, which, if we remember correctly, was also 8-1/2" x 11" tapebound sheets, but typeset and in blue covers and listing the publisher on the inner pages. Uncommon; we've never seen this issue of the book before. Unmarked, but from the library of Peter Matthiessen. Near fine. [#032318] $500
Undated. A one-page prose poem, typed, and signed "Clark Ashton Smith/Auburn, California." This version of the prose poem differs in a number of particulars from the published version, which was included in The Abominations of Yondo (Arkham House, 1960) and Poems in Prose (Arkham House, 1965). Previously folded in thirds but now in a custom binder, bearing the bookplate of horror writer Stanley Wiater, from whose library this came. Fine, with a letter laid in to Wiater from Roy Squires, the noted science fiction collector and dealer, from whom Wiater purchased it. Squires' lengthy letter comments extensively on the appallingly high prices "being asked -- and paid -- for the more desirable Arkham House books," in 1972, and then goes on to justify the high price Wiater had just paid for the Clark Ashton Smith manuscript, and says that he knows of only four prose poem manuscripts by Clark Ashton Smith in existence -- this one; one that he himself still had; and two that Smith's widow had at that time. A rare typescript by one of the most important American horror writers of the 20th century, with a long, illuminating letter from one of the great collectors and dealers in the field, and from the library of a horror writer who has been a three-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, given by the Horror Writers of America. [#029000] $5,500
San Francisco, Grey Fox Press, (1983). Prose, an account of the author's travels through India twenty years earlier, illustrated with photographs from the trip. Inscribed by the author to Peter Matthiessen in 1988, at Kitkitdizze. Spine and edge-sunned; near fine in wrappers. [#032528] $350
London, Hamish Hamilton, (1994). The first British edition. Slight foxing to edge of text block, else fine in a fine dust jacket. [#030405] $20
(NY), HarperCollins, (1994). A compendium of articles and photographs on golf, with an introduction by Updike. This copy bears the bookplate of the Brae Burn Country Club's 50th annual Men's Member-Guest Tournament and is inscribed by Updike in the same month: "For ___ ___/ warm regards -- be happy and healthy! John Updike/ 7/29/97." Brae Burn was one of the courses that Updike played with some frequency. Oversized; fine in a fine dust jacket. Rare signed. [#030288] $500
(NY), Angle Lightning Press, (1978). A collection of poetry and photography by Montreal women. Edited and inscribed by Wendy Wachtel. Near fine in wrappers, with errata slip laid in. Uncommon. [#001213] $20
NY, Scribner, (1984). Her first solo book, subtitled "A Journey to Navajoland," with illustrations by Navajo artist Clifford Brycelea. Winner of the 1984 Southwestern Book Award. Signed by the author. Fine in a near fine, modestly rubbed dust jacket. An attractive copy of a book that has become quite difficult to locate in recent years and which, because of the soft paper jacket, usually shows up quite worn. [#017627] SOLD
NY, Penguin, 2005. A well-received coming of age memoir by an editor of McSweeney's Quarterly, who grew up in a super-rich, socially elite family in San Francisco and then traveled the world with his mother after his parents' divorce having a range of experiences of the sort only available to the upper echelon of society, and largely unintelligible to the young boy. Inscribed by the author. Fine in a near fine dust jacket rubbed at the edges and the folds. [#032682] SOLD
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