Catalog 102, B
24. BALDWIN, James. The Price of the Ticket. NY: St. Martin's/Marek (1985). The uncorrected proof copy of this massive collection of nonfiction (almost 700 pages) spanning three decades by the expatriate African-American author of Go Tell It On the Mountain and The Fire Next Time, among others. Fine in wraps.
25. BALLARD, J.G. Cocaine Nights. Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint (1998). The uncorrected proof copy of the most recent novel by the author of Empire of the Sun, The Atrocity Exhibition, The Drowned World and others. Fine in wrappers.
26. BANKS, Russell. Affliction. NY: Harper & Row, 1989. The advance reading copy in pictorial wrappers of this novel by the author of Continental Drift and The Sweet Hereafter, among others. Recently made into a highly praised movie, which earned an Oscar nomination for Nick Nolte as the story's protagonist. Fine in wrappers and signed by the author.
27. -. Another copy, unsigned. Dampstaining to lower page edges; still about near fine in wrappers.
28. -. Same title, the uncorrected proof copy in plain green wrappers. Shot from the author's typescript sheets and reproducing a number of holograph corrections, particularly near the end of the book. Near fine in wrappers. Much scarcer than the advance reading copy in pictorial wraps.
29. -. Same title, the first trade edition. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
30. BANKS, Russell. Rule of the Bone. (n.p.): HarperCollins (1994). A novel by the author of Hamilton Stark and Affliction, among others. Signed by the author. Remainder stripe; else fine in a fine dust jacket.
31. BARKER, Pat. Another World. (London): Viking (1998). The latest novel by the 1995 winner of the Booker Prize for The Ghost Road, a volume in her acclaimed Regenerationo trilogy. This is the hardcover issue--there was also a simultaneous trade paperback--and is signed by the author. A hint of a corner bump; still fine in a fine dust jacket.
32. BARTH, John. Giles Goat Boy. Garden City: Doubleday, 1966. The first limited edition by the writer whose work most clearly defined the postmodern thread of American fiction in the 1960s. One of 250 numbered copies signed by the author. Fine in a fine slipcase with one edge nick.
33. 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--many times scarcer than the Faber edition published two years later in Great Britain. Considered by many the single most important play of the twentieth century. This copy is inscribed by the author on the title page: "for/ Jean-Jacque Fliat/ with all good wishes/ Samuel Beckett/ Paris/ May 1982." Bookplate front pastedown; otherwise a fine copy in a near fine, spine-sunned dust jacket with offsetting to the flaps and a touch of rubbing to the spine crown. Our experience with this title in recent years suggests that it is of a degree of scarcity comparable to Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird. As with Mockingbird, because of a largely black, unlaminated dust jacket that wears easily and shows wear readily, fine, or even near fine, copies are few and far between. Inscribed copies are virtually unheard of. A high spot of modern literature.
34. BELLOW, Saul. A Theft. (NY): Penguin Books (1989). The advance reading copy of this short novel, which was only published in softcover in the U.S. Bellow was reportedly given the choice by his American publisher between paperback and hardcover publication and opted for the former in order to increase readers' access to his work by an increased initial print run (150,000 copies, according to this advance reading copy). Fine in wrappers.
35. BERRY, Wendell. Collected Poems, 1957-1982. Berkeley: North Point, 1985. The uncorrected proof copy of this collection of poems from Berry's first five volumes of poetry. Near fine in wrappers.
36. BLOOM, Amy. Love Invents Us. NY: Random House (1997). The second book, first novel, by the author of Come to Me, a National Book award nominee. Fine in a fine dust jacket, and signed by the author.
Borges' First Collection of Fiction
37. BORGES, Jorge Luis. Historia Universal de la Infamia. Buenos Aires: (Editorial Tor), 1935. Borges' tenth book, but his first collection of fiction and, as such, a pivotal book in his oeuvre--the first steps on the way to developing the truly original "fictions" for which he is famous. Attractively rebound in gilt-stamped quarter leather and marbled paper boards, with the original wrappers bound in. Moderate foxing; ink stamps to first several pages; a very good copy of an important book.
38. BORGES, Jorge Luis. Otras Inquisiciones. Buenos Aires: Sur (1952). Generally considered Borges' most important collection of essays, which span the years 1937-1952, the period of his coming into his maturity as a writer. Borges' second book, and first book of prose, published in 1925, was entitled Inquisiciones--translatable as "inquiries" or "investigations"--and was a collection of essays that Borges' own avant garde publishing house, Proa, issued. In later years, Borges disavowed the earlier work, reportedly buying up copies when he saw them in order to destroy them, and he never allowed the essays in that original volume to be reprinted, even when an edition of his Collected Works was published by Argentina's premier literary publishing house. Otras Inquisiciones derived its title from the earlier volume and was written, in part, as a rebuttal, or refutation, of that work, which Borges came to consider as having been immature and ill-considered. These essays on literature, by contrast, represent the full flowering of Borges' critical intelligence: in addition to his being a poet and fiction writer of great accomplishment and originality, he was a translator, historian of literature, and literary critic of singular acuity. He introduced Kafka, Faulkner and Virginia Woolf, among others, to Latin American readers, and the depth of his knowledge of American, English and Continental literary history was profound. Subjects of the essays in this volume include Cervantes, Coleridge, Hawthorne, Whitman, Keats, Kafka, Valéry, Wilde, William Beckford's Vathek, and others. Pages darkening, rubbing to folds; still about near fine in original wrappers. A very nice copy of this fragile and important book.
The Sheltering Sky, Inscribed by Bowles
39. BOWLES, Paul. The Sheltering Sky. London: Lehmann (1949). The first edition of Bowles's landmark first novel, an influential tale of Westerners abroad in North Africa, encountering an alien and previously unsuspected world as they discover unknown aspects of themselves. One critic summarized it thus: "The Sheltering Sky shows his remarkable feeling for the power of the African town and desert to generate existential fear and panic in characters exhausted and degenerated by Western urban excess. He is a master of cruelty and isolation, and the ironies of the search for meaning in an inadequately understood environment." This copy is inscribed by the author on the half-title to a poet and book collector: "for _____/ meilleurs voeux./ (This is the first of/ the first, published in/ Sept. 1949, three months/ before the American edition.)/ Paul." Not mentioned in the inscription is that only 4000 copies were printed, and the book was reprinted several times in short order. The first has become very scarce in recent years. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some minor staining to the rear panel and two internal tape mends; still a nicer-than-usual copy of this book, which readily shows wear. An important first novel, which anticipated the literature of the Beat movement and the focus on the experiential and on alternate states of mind, whether drug-induced or provoked by exposure to foreign lands and cultures. Trade editions signed by Bowles are quite scarce; signed copies of his first novel are exceedingly uncommon.
40. (BOWLES, Paul). "From Ksar-es-Souk" in Letters. New Hope: Letters, 1935. An early publication by Bowles, preceding his first novel by 14 years. Two poems, in French, in this quarterly of unpublished letters and other belles lettres. Miller C85. A couple of nicks to the oversize wrappers, else fine.
41. (BOWLES, Paul). "By the Water" in The Penguin New Writing 39. Harmondsworth: Penguin (1950). Paperback original. Previous owner name and date (1950), pages acidifying; spine folds heavily rubbed; about very good in wrappers.
42. (BOWLES, Paul). MRABET, Mohammed. The Lemon. NY: McGraw-Hill (1972). A review copy of the first American edition of the second collaboration between Bowles and Mrabet--Mrabet dictating the story and Bowles transcribing it and translating. Fine in a fine dust jacket, with review slip laid in.
43. (BOWLES, Paul). CHOUKRI, Mohamed. Tennessee Williams in Tangier. Santa Barbara: Cadmus, 1979. Of the limited edition of 226 copies signed by the author and translator, this is copy "B" of 26 lettered copies that were reserved for use of the publisher and author and were not for sale. A trifle edge-sunned; still a fine copy in self-wrappers, in a near fine, spine-tanned glassine dustwrapper. A rare state of this small but important volume: Bowles and Williams were longtime friends, and collaborated in the 1940s on several dramatic productions, with Bowles providing the musical scores for Williams' plays.
44. BRADBURY, Ray. The Toynbee Convector. NY: Knopf, 1988. A novel by the author of numerous science fiction classics, notably Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine, and The Martian Chronicles. Tiny corner bump; else fine in a fine dust jacket and signed by the author.
45. BRADBURY, Ray. A Graveyard for Lunatics. NY: Knopf, 1990. A science fiction novel set in Hollywood in the Fifties, where Bradbury spent considerable time working. Fine in a fine dust jacket, and signed by the author.
46. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. Lay the Marble Tea. San Francisco: Carp Press, 1959. His scarce third book, and first collection of poems (his earlier two books were each a single poem). Inscribed by Brautigan for Michaela Le Grand, the author's lover and muse, who is pictured with Brautigan in the photograph on the paperback edition of Trout Fishing in America. Inscribed in large letters down the front blank: "Love/ to/ My Muse/ Forever/ Forever/ Lasting." Neither Brautigan's nor Le Grand's name appear in the inscription, the address of the sentiment having been clear to those involved. A small pamphlet, printing twenty-four poems and with a cover illustration by Kenn Davis. A fine copy, albeit with the two spine staples very professionally replaced. Published a year after his first book, The Return of the Rivers. Scarce under any circumstances; rare either fine or inscribed; this copy is unique. In custom chemise and slipcase, with provenance letter included.
47. BROWN, Claude. Manchild in the Promised Land. NY: Macmillan (1965). The advance reading copy of this landmark personal account, which helped a generation of readers define the civil rights struggle of the 1960s in human and personal terms, as opposed to abstractions. Very mild spine creasing and a hint of yellowing to the edges of the white covers; near fine in wrappers.
48. BUKOWSKI, Charles. Crucifix in a Deathhand. NY: Lyle Stuart/Loujon Press (1965). Designed and elaborately printed and bound in an edition of 3100 copies by Loujon Press: multi-colored, deckle-edge pages, in stiff pictorial wrappers. This copy is inscribed by the author to Karl Shapiro: For/ Karl Shapiro --/ Kid, it's a hell/ of a hard game --/ living, dying/ reading, bleeding/ singing --/ What the fuck --/ it's hang and/ hold --/ Hello,/ Charles Bukowski." With several of Bukowski's characteristic cartoon illustrations. Very slight spine-sunning and rubbing to the folds; else fine. An early publication by Bukowski and an extremely uncommon item to find with a literary association such as this.
49. BUKOWSKI, Charles. Notes of a Dirty Old Man. North Hollywood: Essex House (1969). Paperback original of this novel which was published as soft core pornography but which ended up being a pivotal volume in expanding the definition of what constituted serious literature in the late Sixties. The publisher folded shortly after this book came out, but Bukowski went on to become a countercultural icon, and his writing--most of it no more or less "pornographic" than this--to be universally acknowledged as "literary" and the work of a significant artist. Owner name in pencil on first page. Light stains along spine edges; very good in wrappers.
50. BUKOWSKI, Charles. The Singer. Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow, 1999. Six poems comprising the annual New Year's greeting from Black Sparrow. This is the issue in stapled wrappers. Fine.
51. BURKE, James Lee. In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead. NY: Hyperion (1993). The limited edition of this mystery in the award-winning Dave Robicheaux series. One of 150 numbered copies signed by the author. Fine in slipcase.
52. BURROUGHS, William S. The Naked Lunch. Paris: Olympia (1959). The first issue of the first edition of his second book, one of the all-time great drug novels and a high spot of Beat and postwar American literature--one of the "big three" volumes of the Beat movement, along with Kerouac's On the Road and Ginsberg's Howl. Published only in paperback in Paris by Maurice Girodias' important small press, in an edition of 5000 copies, three years before it could be published in the U.S. Inscribed by the author to publisher and bookseller William Targ: "for William/ Targ/ Congratulations/ on a 1st/ edition/ William S. Burroughs/ December 18, 1986/ N.Y.C." The name of a third William (neither Burroughs nor Targ) appears on the first blank above the inscription. A very good copy in a good dust jacket chipped at the spine extremities (with a small piece of clear tape across the base) and torn across the (internally tape-repaired) rear panel. An increasingly uncommon book in the dust jacket, and especially scarce signed.
53. -. Another copy, unsigned. This copy has the "New Price" stamp on the rear panel, for which the bibliographer gives no priority but which can be presumed to have been done shortly after publication. Very slight spine creasing; else a fine copy in a very near fine dust jacket with two very short tears at the spine crown and minuscule wear at the spine extremities. A beautiful copy, completely unfaded on the spine and bright and fresh all over.
54. -. Same title, the first American edition. NY: Grove Press (1959)[c. 1962]. Naked Lunch was censored in this country and was not published here until three years after its original publication in Paris, and then only after a number of high-profile literary figures argued its case as a novel of great literary merit and import. It was published by the maverick publisher Barney Rosset, of Grove Press, in a tiny edition of 3500 copies--a smaller number than was done of the very scarce French edition in 1959. Later, it was reprinted many times and became an underground classic in the Sixties and eventually became a part of the canon, even being made into a somewhat experimental movie in the early 1990s. This copy has a very slight bump to the spine crown and a small faint spot on the foredge; otherwise fine in a near fine dust jacket with trace rubbing at the corners. A very attractive copy, made more so by the fact that it is signed by the author.
55. BURROUGHS, William. The Soft Machine. Paris: Olympia (1961). The true first edition, published in Paris by Maurice Girodias' press five years before it came out in the U.S. Only issued in wrappers. Light bump to spine base; else fine in a near fine, spine-tanned dust jacket rubbed along the folds. The Paris first editions of Burroughs' books have become increasingly scarce in recent years, especially in dust jacket and in nice condition.
56. BURROUGHS, William S. The Ticket That Exploded. Paris: Olympia (1962). The correct first edition, published in paperback in Paris, as were his earlier books, The Soft Machine and Naked Lunch. The U.S. edition was not published until five years later. Issued in Maurice Girodias' "Traveller's Companion" series--a line of paperbacks that was largely dominated by the kind of hardcore pornography that could not be sold at all in the U.S. at that time--few copies of this title migrated to the U.S. until well after Burroughs' popularity here was established and the landmark censorship cases of the early 1960s (including that of Naked Lunch) had been settled in favor of increased permissiveness in printed matter. Inscribed by the author. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket rubbed along the folds.
57. -. Another copy. Signed by the author. Near fine in a very good foxed and spine-tanned dust jacket, heavily rubbed along the folds.
58. BURROUGHS, William and REAGAN, Ronald. "When Did You Stop Wanting To Be President of the United States?" (n.p.): (Harper's Magazine) (1974-1975). Burroughs and Reagan answer, separately, a question posed for Harper's "unscientific poll of interested parties," to be published in the March 1975 issue. Ribbon-copy typescript: 3 pages by Burroughs (of 4 submitted), and one by Reagan. Both answers are unsigned and copyedited in pencil, their only similarities. Reagan, in part: "...the man who sets out to acquire the Presidency...may forget that it is the job's symbolic inspiration for the people, not the actual power, that is important... Americans like to be inspired by their Presidents... I am concerned, though. We need to lower our expectations for miracle-working on the part of our Presidents. Ever since F.D.R. appeared to pull of some genuine miracles during the Depression (with delayed flaws he didn't foresee) we have come to expect the President and the federal government to instantly solve just about any human problem that has come along. Governments tend not to solve problems, only rearrange them, and not instantly, at that..." Burroughs emphatically discounts ever having desired the Presidency and vividly recounts his dream of becoming Commissioner of Sewers for St. Louis, "which called for a token appearance twice a week to sign a few letters at the Old Court House; while I'm there might as well put it on the sheriff for some mary juana he has confiscated and he'd better play ball or I will route a sewer through his front yard... I never wanted to be a front man like Harding or Nixon... I prefer a whiff of coal gas as the sewers rupture for miles around--I have made a deal on the piping which has bought me a thirty thousand dollar home and there is talk in the press of sex cults and orgies carried out in the stink of what made them possible..." Burroughs' piece evolves into a dark and cynical fantasy of corruption and degradation--more a short story, finally, than an essay. With two sentences apparently cut from any published version. Also included are the typed responses of Eugene McCarthy, Kevin Phillips, George Romney, Theodore Sorensen and Kevin White. As above, these are unsigned, copyedited in pencil, and have a brief author bio added in pencil. Paper stocks and typefaces vary; Reagan's response is on paper bearing the watermark of the State of California. All have been folded, apparently for mailing. The Burroughs has a tiny puncture and a larger fingerprint, not affecting text; the Reagan has a corresponding tiny puncture; the lot is near fine or better. Original manuscript material by any of these writers is uncommon, but a collection such as this, bringing together such prominent but disparate figures is, in our experience, unique.
59. BURROUGHS, William S. The Last Words of Dutch Schultz. NY: Viking (1975). "A Fiction in the Form of a Film Script," in which Burroughs takes the semi-coherent last words of a 1930s gangster as the point of departure for an imagined view of the dying man's inner life. Fine in a near fine dust jacket.
60. BURROUGHS, William S. Blade Runner (A Movie). Berkeley: Blue Wind, 1979. A treatment for a science fiction film, although not the one that eventually came out with that title. This is a copy of the simultaneous issue in wrappers. A bit of creasing and spotting to the rear cover; near fine.
61. BURROUGHS, William S. Roosevelt after Inauguration and Other Atrocities. (San Francisco): City Lights Books (1980). First thus. The second printing of the title piece, which was first published in an edition of 500 copies by Ed Sanders' underground Fuck You Press in 1964. Tiny nick at midspine; else fine in wrappers.
62. BURROUGHS, William S. Queer. (NY): Viking (1985). A review copy of this autobiographical novel, and a major statement on Burroughs' writing and its sources. Cloth very slightly edge-sunned; else fine in a fine dust jacket, with review slip laid in.
63. BURROUGHS, William S. Ghost of Chance. NY: Serpent's Tail/High Risk Books (1991/1995). The first American trade edition, after a limited edition done by the Whitney Museum. Fine in pictorial boards without dust jacket, as issued.
64. (BURROUGHS, William S.). BURROUGHS, Laura Lee. Flower Arranging. A Fascinating Hobby together with Flower Arranging. A Fascinating Hobby, Vol. 2 and Homes and Flowers. Refreshing Arrangements. Atlanta: The Coca-Cola Company (1940, 1941, 1942). Three volumes by Burroughs' mother--part floral instruction; part Coca-Cola propaganda--deeply reflecting the values Burroughs had to subvert. Heavily illustrated quartos in stapled wrappers; near fine. An uncommon set these days: individual volumes turn up from time to time but seldom are all three encountered together. For the three:
65. (BURROUGHS, William S.) Takis. (Milano): Galleria Schwarz, 1962. A trilingual catalog of a Takis exhibition. Burroughs contributes about 250 words. Maynard and Miles F5. Brion Gysin contributes a poem. Unbound folded pages; near fine. An uncommon Burroughs appearance.
66. (BURROUGHS, William S.) "Martin's Mag" in Ambit, No. 20. London: Ambit (1964). A story by Burroughs written in three-column format like a newspaper, and with a short commentary by Burroughs about the style of the piece. Maynard & Miles C92. Other contributors include George MacBeth and Anselm Hollo; Hollo's piece has two ink corrections to the text. Minor foxing and rubbing; near fine in stapled wrappers.
67. BUTLER, Robert Olen. Countrymen of Bones. NY: Horizon (1983). His third novel, set in New Mexico during the development of the atomic bomb. A fast-paced story as well as being a novel of ideas. Butler won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his story collection A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket with trace rubbing at the spine crown.
68. BYATT, A.S. Elementals. Stories of Fire and Ice. London: Chatto & Windus (1998). A story collection by the Booker Prize-winning author of Possession. Fine in a fine dust jacket, and signed by the author.