Catalog 123, A-B
2. ALLEN, Steve. Bop Fables. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1955. Four fairy tales retold by humorist Steve Allen in the language of the Beats, with illustrations by George Price. Owner name and address front pastedown; rubbing to board edges; near fine, without dust jacket, as issued. Allen, a mainstream comic who had one of the first television talk shows, was instrumental in popularizing the Beat movement, inviting Jack Kerouac on his show and also recording a record album with Kerouac reading prose and Allen accompanying him on piano.
3. ANDERSON, Sherwood. Poor White. NY: B.W. Huebsch, 1920. An early novel by Anderson, published one year after Winesburg, Ohio. Signed by the author on the half-title. Gift inscription on front flyleaf; front joint cracked; boards sunned, the spine heavily; fraying to cloth at spine extremities; a good copy, lacking the dust jacket. With two contemporary newspaper pieces laid in: one by and one about Anderson.
4. AUEL, Jean M. The Clan of the Cave Bear. NY: Crown (1980). The first volume in the author's bestselling "Earth's Children" series. Although the movie that was made from this book bombed, the book itself -- along with the other volumes in the series -- was widely praised for the thoroughness of its historical research. Fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
5. -. Same title, the advance reading copy. Small corner bump and wrinkle to rear panel; near fine in wrappers.
6. AUSTER, Paul. The Art of Hunger. Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press (1992). The limited edition of this collection of essays, interviews and prefaces, expanded from the Menard Press collection of a decade earlier. One of 300 numbered copies signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
7. BACH, Richard. Jonathan Livingston Seagull. (NY): Macmillan (1970). The scarce first edition of this huge bestseller that went into dozens of printings. As a small, cult item, the book enjoyed considerable counterculture respect as a follow-your-own-muse fable. Its enormous commercial success provoked a scornful backlash that was aided by a rather insipid film version a couple of years later. Inscribed by the author: "For Jonathan Livingston Barksdale!/ From a pair of fellow seagulls... Earl and/ Richard Bach/ 1970." Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a patches of dampstaining visible on the front flap and the verso. First printings of this book are quite uncommon; inscribed copies even more so.
8. BALDWIN, James. Go Tell It on the Mountain. NY: Knopf, 1953. His classic first novel, a story of life in the ghetto which helped instigate a renaissance in black literature in the Fifties and Sixties. Faint offsetting to front flyleaf; otherwise a fine copy in a very good, spine-faded dust jacket with a couple internally tape-mended edge tears. A Modern Library and Radcliffe book of the century.
9. BALDWIN, James. Notes of a Native Son. Boston: Beacon Press (1955). The second book by the author of Go Tell it on the Mountain, a collection of essays. Warmly inscribed by Baldwin on the dedication page: "For Lawrence: - / Lurlene is a fine/ actress, friend. We'll be working/ together again -/ My best to you./ Sincerely,/ Jimmy Baldwin." Tape residue on endpages from jacket flaps; thus only near fine in a worn second issue dust jacket, with several chips, tears, rubbed areas and spots of dampness; only good, but a scarce book to find signed or inscribed.
10. -. Another copy, unsigned. Owner gift inscription; else fine in a very good, price-clipped, creased and edgeworn first issue dust jacket.
11. BALDWIN, James. Blues for Mr. Charlie. NY: Dial, 1964. His third play, but first to be published, a story centered around the killing of a young Negro in the Deep South -- loosely based on the events surrounding the murder of Emmitt Till in Mississippi in 1955 -- and dedicated to the memory of Medgar Evers and the children of Birmingham, Alabama, who had been killed in the year preceding publication -- events that helped to ignite the Civil Rights Movement in this country in the early 1960s. Fine in a near fine, mildly rubbed dust jacket.
12. BALDWIN, James. The Amen Corner. NY: Dial Press, 1968. Fine in a very good, internally tape-strengthened and price-clipped dust jacket with some very faint dampstaining around the lower front spine fold. Uncommon.
13. BALDWIN, James. Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone. NY: Dial Press, 1968. Bound galleys of the author's fourth novel. Printed in double columns; square spiralbound quarto, 10" x 10". A bit edge-sunned; small stain to front cover; near fine. An uncommon format, suggesting few were done.
14. BALDWIN, James. One Day When I Was Lost. London: Michael Joseph (1972). The first edition of this "scenario" or screenplay, based on Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The conjunction of Baldwin, the most prominent African-American author of the postwar era, and Malcolm X, the most prominent radical Black leader of the period, is a notable one, even though this version of the screenplay was not ultimately produced when the film was finally made, two decades later, by Spike Lee. Very slight bowing to boards; still fine in a fine dust jacket. Precedes the American edition.
15. BARNES, Julian. Flaubert's Parrot. NY: Knopf, 1985. The first American edition of Barnes's breakthrough book, a combination of fiction, literary history, criticism and biography, and one of the most highly praised books of the decade. Fine in a very mildly edge-sunned, else fine dust jacket.
16. BECKETT, Samuel. Whoroscope. Paris: Hours Press, 1930. Beckett's first separately published work, a prize-winning poem on the subject of time: four pages, with two pages of footnotes. Of a total edition of 300 copies, this is one of 100 numbered copies signed by the author. A hint of sunning to the top edge of the front cover; else fine in stapled wrappers, with the publisher's wraparound band. A beautiful copy of a scarce and fragile item.
17. BECKETT, Samuel. Proust. London: Chatto & Windus, 1931. A critical study of Marcel Proust by the author of Waiting for Godot, whose postwar writings reshaped contemporary literature, introducing what came to be called the Theater of the Absurd, and eventually led to his winning the Nobel Prize in 1969. Inscribed by the author: "For Elizabeth/ on her birthday/ wishing her many happy/ returns of the day./ Samuel Beckett." A small, fragile volume. Pictorial boards mildly foxed; small abrasion to flyleaf; near fine in a near fine, spine-tanned dust jacket. An uncommon book, and rare signed.
18. BECKETT, Samuel. Echo's Bones and Other Precipitates. Paris: Europa Press, 1935. Beckett's fourth book, a collection of poems that was the first book published by George Reavey's short-lived Europa Press, and which Beckett paid Reavey to publish. Reavey started Europa Press in order to print poetry, after being dismayed by the way poets were treated by the mainstream English publishers of the time. He was also, a couple of years later, responsible for Beckett's first novel, Murphy, being published in the U.K., after he had recommended it to Herbert Read. Of a total edition of 327 copies, this is one of 50 copies hors commerce. Covers sunned but crisp; near fine in wrappers.
19. BELLOW, Saul. The Dean's December. NY: Harper & Row (1982). The uncorrected proof copy of the trade edition of the Nobel Prize winner's ninth novel. Fine in wrappers.
20. -. Same title. The Harper & Row limited edition, which followed the Franklin Library edition. One of 500 copies signed by the author. Fine in acetate dust jacket and slipcase.
21. -. Same title, the true first edition. Franklin Center: Franklin Library, 1982. Leatherbound, all edges gilt, with a silk ribbon marker bound in and a foreword by Allan Bloom that does not appear in the publisher's edition. Fine.
22. BERTOLINO, James. Making Space for Our Living. (Port Townsend): (Copper Canyon Press) (1975). Inscribed by the author to another poet and novelist "with admiration and affection" in the year of publication. Fine in wrappers.
23. BLOCK, Herbert. Straight Herblock. NY: Simon & Schuster (1964). A collection of the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist's political cartoons, along with extensive commentary by him. Inscribed by the author: "To/ Governor [Adlai] Stevenson/ with continued/ admiration/ from Herb Block." A very nice association: Block, a lifetime liberal, supported Stevenson repeatedly in the 1950s when he worked for the Washington Post and the Post was endorsing Eisenhower. At one point, his cartoons were pulled from the Post during the election campaign in order to spare the publisher embarrassment, but the resulting outcry over "censorship" outweighed the inconsistency on the editorial page that Block's cartoons comprised. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with modest edge wear.
24. BOYER, Rick. Billingsgate Shoal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982. The author's first book, which initiated the "Doc Adams" series and won an Edgar Award for best first mystery. Signed by the author. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with several closed edge tears.
25. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. The Hawkline Monster. NY: Simon & Schuster . A photocopy typescript of the first of Brautigan's "genre" novels -- inventive takes on established conventions in fiction, this one being, as he called it, "A Gothic Western." 226 pages; double-spaced. Reproducing several holograph corrections. Title page sunned and corner creased; else fine. Precedes the proof and any other printed edition.
26. BRODSKY, Joseph. To Urania. NY: FSG (1988). The uncorrected proof copy of this collection of the Nobel Prize winner's poems. Paperclip traces front cover; else fine in wrappers.
27. -. Same title, the limited edition. One of 150 numbered copies signed by the author. Fine in a fine slipcase.
28. BROWN, Norman O. Life Against Death. The Psychoanalytic Meaning of History. Middletown: Wesleyan (1959). The very scarce first edition of one of the most influential books of its time, which helped shape a generation's attitudes: "This book is addressed to all who are ready to call into question old assumptions and to entertain new possibilities. The aim is to open up a new point of view." The book certainly lived up to its intentions, providing new interpretations of such diverse subjects as mysticism, Freud, economics, classical civilization and more, and helped usher in a decade in which the most fundamental elements of received knowledge were challenged, and new ways of looking at old questions were found in virtually every field of human endeavor. Brown's book -- read, discussed and passed around by readers in all disciplines and fields -- was at the very center of the cultural upheaval of the Sixties. Top stain faded; some inadvertent corner creasing to rear pages; slight fraying to spine cloth; a near fine copy in an internally tape-mended, edge-chipped dust jacket with a small open tear at mid-spine and a small hole punched over the price on the front flap; still about very good.
29. BROWN, Rita Mae. Rubyfruit Jungle. NY: Bantam (1988). The fifteenth anniversary edition, and first hardcover edition, of her first novel. A book about growing up lesbian in America, first published in 1973 by Daughters Inc., a small, lesbian feminist press in Vermont, Rubyfruit Jungle went on to become a bestseller, was reprinted numerous times and brought out in a mass market edition that was a milestone in the acceptance of gay literature in this country. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
30. BUTLER, Robert Olen. The Alleys of Eden. NY: Horizon (1981). His first book, a highly praised novel of the ending and aftermath of the Vietnam war -- themes that have continued to run through his writing since. Although Butler's early books were universally praised by reviewers, they enjoyed little commercial success, in part because the first three were published by a small publisher on the brink of bankruptcy. He later won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection A Good Scent From a Strange Mountain, stories that share the Vietnam and post-Vietnam themes of this book. One light corner bump; else fine in a near fine dust jacket with light edge rubbing.
31. BUTLER, Robert Olen. On Distant Ground. NY: Knopf, 1985. The uncorrected proof copy of his fourth novel, a tale of the after-effects of the Vietnam war, and one of the finest literary novels to come out of the war. Fine in wrappers.