Catalog 134, L-M
43. LE CARRÉ, John. Smiley's People. NY: Knopf, 1980. The publisher's presentation edition, leatherbound, using sheets of the first American edition. Top edge gilt, silk ribbon marker bound in. Signed by the author on a tipped-in leaf. The final book in the trilogy collectively entitled "The Quest for Karla," which is widely considered the greatest series of spy novels ever written -- combining a degree of realism with a literary accomplishment that made spying and the covert world of intelligence a metaphor for moral and spiritual inquiry into the place of man in the world, and his fate. Modest rubbing and wear to leather; near fine. Very scarce; the only copy we have seen in more than a decade.
Advance Copy of To Kill a Mockingbird
44. LEE, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. London: Heinemann (1960). An advance copy of the first British edition of her first and only book, which won the Pulitzer Prize and was the basis for an Academy Award-winning movie. Light foxing and cover creasing and some wear at the heel; still a near fine copy in plain brown printed wrappers. A nice copy of an uncommon issue of this book.
45. LEE, Harper. Romance and High Adventure. Birmingham: Cather & Brown Books, 1993. The first separate publication of a paper Lee presented to the Alabama History and Heritage Festival in 1983 on early Alabama historian Albert James Pickett and his 1847 History of Alabama. One of 100 numbered copies signed by the publisher, Patrick Cather. Fine in stapled wrappers. An extremely scarce "A" item by Lee, who has never published another book since the success of her novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
46. (LEE, Harper). The Corolla. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama, 1947-1948. Two volumes of the yearbook of the University of Alabama, where Harper Lee studied law between 1945 and 1949. The 1947 Corolla shows Lee as editor of the humor magazine Rammer Jammer, sitting on the Board of Publications, voted one of the "campus personalities," pictured as a student of law, a member of Chi Omega and of Triangle, an honor society of seniors who guide freshmen. In all, at least a half dozen pictures of Lee. Wear to the edges, rubbing to the joints; near fine. The 1948 Corolla only pictures Lee as a campus personality. She is not otherwise mentioned in organizations or classes. Before completing her degree requirements, Lee left law school for New York City, where she worked as an airline reservations clerk and wrote fiction. Check marks in text; board edges worn; very good. For both:
47. LEONARD, Elmore. Escape from Five Shadows. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1956. Leonard's third book -- like his first two, a Western. An extremely scarce book, in part, no doubt, because it is not particularly well-made: the paper and binding are both of the cheaper variety available to publishers in the 1950s, and would not be expected to wear well or last long. Inscribed by the author twice, once on the title page and once on the half title, both inscriptions to noted collectors, one of whom wrote the first Harry Crews bibliography. Minor, blended stain to rear board; owner name rear flyleaf; near fine in a near fine, mildly spine-dulled, price-clipped dust jacket with slight shelf wear to the spine ends. Overall, notwithstanding small imperfections, a very attractive copy of a scarce book.
Christmas Card from Malcolm X (before his conversion)
48. LITTLE, Malcolm. "Malcolm X." Holiday Card. [c.1940's]. 5-3/4" x 4-3/4". A Christmas card from the noted black activist, written decades before he converted to Islam and became the most outspoken and militant agitator for black civil rights in the early 1960s. Malcolm X's incendiary rhetoric in the early years of the Civil Rights Movement helped polarize the country around issues of race and also helped open the way for civil and legal reforms on an unprecedented scale. The social criticism that seemed so extreme and intransigent in 1963, when viewed with the historical perspective of the intervening decades, seems mild, almost mainstream, and much of his most extreme characterizations of race relations in the United States seem self-evidently true today, rather than provocative. This card has a sleigh scene on the front and a standard Christmas and New Year's greeting inside. Signed in full as "Malcolm Little," with the additional sentiment, in holograph: "I hope you haven't forgotten me." Folded once, seemingly to fit into a square envelope (not present). Very slight general wear; still near fine. Autograph material by Malcolm X is extremely scarce, particularly such an early example as this, preceding as it does his notoriety and period of historical significance.
A Unique Barry Lopez Manuscript
49. LOPEZ, Barry Holstun. Coyote Goes Alone. (n.p.): (n.p.), 1974. A photocopied typescript of the book that became, in 1978, his second published title, Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping with His Daughter. Inscribed by the author to his mother: "To Mom -/ who was there for the long haul -/ the first one./ Barry 12/25/74." A retelling of Native American tales of Coyote the Trickster, in which Lopez revivifies the tales, restoring their humor and vitality, and thus their power to affect the contemporary reader, rather than dryly recounting them in the manner of an anthropologist dissecting a subject. Inscribed four years before publication and two years before his first published book, Desert Notes. With textual differences from the published version. 200+ pages, double-spaced, with text on rectos only. According to the author, this text was written in response to perhaps the most influential teacher he has had in his life, Barre Toelken, who provides an introduction to the published book. The existence of this copy derived from an effort by Lopez to get something of substance into his mother's hands in return for all she had given him in his life. His mother passed away nineteen months later, one month after he was able to hand her a copy of Desert Notes. Three rewritten stories from this volume were later gathered together as Lopez's first limited edition, Coyote Love. Bound in a black binder, with mottling to endpages and prelims and cracked at the upper front joint. Overall very good. Unique.
50. -. Same title, the published book, Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping with His Daughter. Kansas City: Sheed, Andrews and McMeel, 1978. Fine in a very close to fine dust jacket, and signed by the author.
51. LOWRY, Malcolm. Under the Volcano. NY: Reynal & Hitchcock (1947). An advance review copy of Lowry's classic, one of the great books of twentieth century literature. The tale of a British consul drinking himself to death in the shadow of Mexico's twin volcanoes, Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl, eerily foreshadows Lowry's own death from excessive alcohol consumption a decade later. Under the Volcano was his last book published during his lifetime. Laid in is a letter from the publisher's Sales Manager soliciting comment and forwarding a copy of a typed letter signed by Alfred Kazin in which Kazin writes the praise that was quoted in the blurb on the rear panel of the dust jacket ("The book obviously belongs with the most original and creative novels of our time. I feel like paying homage to Lowry..."). The letters are folded and near fine. Some handling is apparent to the book's cloth; near fine in a dust jacket with prior chips and fold separations, but professionally restored to near fine. A very attractive copy of an important book, and particularly interesting in that it includes a copy of the letter -- by one of the leading American critics of his time, Alfred Kazin -- that appears prominently on the book itself.
52. MALAMUD, Bernard. The Natural. NY: Harcourt Brace, (1952). His first book, one of the great baseball novels of all time and the basis, decades later, for a well-received movie. Small owner name and date (December, 1952) front flyleaf and trace sunning to spine crown; else a fine copy of the issue in red boards, in a very good, mildly spine and edge-sunned dust jacket with a few small chips and tears. No priority has been established but copies in both the red and the blue boards appear to be considerably scarcer than copies in gray boards, although not necessarily earlier. A nice copy of an important and elusive first book.
53. MATTHIESSEN, Peter. Men's Lives. The Surfmen and Baymen of the South Fork. (n.p.): (Rock Foundation) (1986). A two-volume deluxe edition of Matthiessen's tribute to the fishermen of eastern Long Island and a way of life that, in the late stages of the 20th century, appeared to be irretrievably dying away. Matthiessen has spent much of his life on eastern Long Island, and once ran a charter fishing boat off the island, in addition to having worked for three years with commercial fishermen, so this sympathetic portrait is written from the perspective of one who has shared the life described. One of 500 numbered copies (although in all likelihood far fewer than 500 copies of this were ever produced). One volume, the text, is signed by Matthiessen. In addition to the second volume, of photographs, there is also an original print of one of the photographs from the book laid into a folding chemise and signed by the photographer. Never formally offered for sale, copies of this edition were given out to attendees of a $500-a-plate benefit dinner for the historical society attempting to preserve the record and legacy of the fishermen's lives. Both volumes and the print are fine; the whole is enclosed in a near fine, mildly sunned and dusty clamshell case. A similar edition, unsigned and without the signed print, was issued in a slipcase, and probably comprised most of the overrun of this edition -- i.e., a later issue, which was offered for sale via the University of Washington Press. This copy belonged to Dorothy Norman, photographer and longtime companion and eventually biographer of Alfred Stieglitz, who was one of the attendees of the dinner.
Larry McMurtry's First Two Books, Signed
54. McMURTRY, Larry. Horseman, Pass By. NY: Harper (1961). McMurtry's first book, one of A.C. Greene's "50 best books on Texas," basis for the movie Hud, and winner of the Jesse H. Jones Award from the Texas Institute of Letters for the best novel of the year. Horseman, Pass By, which takes its title from the closing lines of William Butler Yeats's poem "Under Ben Bulben" (as did Mary McCarthy's first novel, Cast a Cold Eye), was a breakthrough in Texas literature and in regional literature in general: by telling a raw, unadulterated story entirely fitting to its contemporary West Texas setting, McMurtry not only brought the regional novel out of its quaint gentility but gave it a universality it could not have had otherwise: it has been called a West Texas Catcher in the Rye, with the caveat that the lives of Texans in general were a little more crude than those of the Easterners in Salinger's novel. Very faint foredge rubbing; still a fine copy in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing to the folds and a tiny tear to the front flap. Hastily inscribed by the author on the title page. A very nice copy of a book hard to find in this condition.
55. McMURTRY, Larry. Leaving Cheyenne. NY: Harper & Row (1963). His second novel, again one of the "50 best books on Texas," according to A.C. Greene. McMurtry's first two books are quite scarce and of the two this is likely the scarcer. Signed by the author. Fine in a near fine, spine-faded, price-clipped dust jacket with an edge tear at the heel.
The Suppressed "Skycraper" Edition, Signed
56. McMURTRY, Larry. In a Narrow Grave. Austin: Encino Press, 1968. McMurtry's first book of nonfiction, a collection of essays on Texas. Done by a small press in Austin, the first printing was so rife with typographical errors that it was destroyed; reportedly only 15 copies survived. This is one of those copies, with "skycrapers" for "skyscrapers" on page 105. Signed by McMurtry and lengthily inscribed by the publisher: "2000 copies of this first edition were chucked into an abandoned well because of numerous typesetting errors made by the typesetter between final page proofs and printing -- although a few copies were kept to sell to book dealers at outrageous prices." Fine in a very near fine dust jacket with two production creases. Easily the scarcest book in the McMurtry canon -- at least that we know of -- and this is a beautiful copy of it, with an interesting and revealing note from the book's publisher.
57. -. Same title. This is the second, corrected printing. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
Prepublication Copy of Michener's Pulitzer Prize-Winning First Book
58. MICHENER, James. Tales of the South Pacific. NY: Macmillan, 1947. Folded and gathered sheets of his classic first book, which won the Pulitzer Prize. With "Publication Date Jan 28 1947" rubber-stamped on the title page. Mild acidification to sheets and a bit of dampening to first blank; a very near fine set, laid into a fair dust jacket, edge-chipped where the edges have overhung the pages, and with wear, rubbing, and chipping to the spine. We have never seen another set of these.
A Unique Copy of the Winnie-the-Pooh's First Appearance in Print
59. MILNE, A.A. When We Were Very Young. London: Methuen (1924). The first children's book by the author of the classic Winnie-the-Pooh series, a collection of verses written for his son Christopher, and introducing Christopher Robin and Edward Bear. This is the British limited edition, published in an edition of 100 copies, this being an unnumbered presentation copy inscribed by Milne to his publisher, C.W. Chamberlain, Esq., co-owner of Methuen publishing company. Also signed by the illustrator, E.H. Shepard, who illustrated all of the later Pooh books as well. A fine copy in a near fine dust jacket sunned in a pattern of vertical stripes; in a custom clamshell box. When We Were Very Young is by far the scarcest of the Pooh books in the first edition, both in the trade edition and the limited; when Winnie-the-Pooh was published, its first printing was seven times larger than that of the first book. Copies of the signed limited seldom appear on the market, and a copy such as this -- not only signed but inscribed by the author to a notable figure in the book's publishing history -- is exceptionally rare.
Jim Morrison Poetry, 1 of 100 Copies
60. MORRISON, James Douglas. The New Creatures. (n.p.): Self-Published, 1969. A limited edition of poetry, one of two self-published books that Morrison did, each in an edition of 100 copies. Morrison's band, The Doors, was the most important counterculture band from the Los Angeles area, and their blues-based psychedelic music combined with Morrison's eerie, sometimes scary, poetry made them a unique fixture of the late Sixties -- a counterbalance to the sometimes saccharine "peace-and-love" ethos of the time, and an inspiration to those for whom the times signified conflict and contention more than peace and harmony, including those in Vietnam. Edgy poetry from one of the most significant figures of the 1960s, and a rare edition. A fine copy in tape-bound boards, without dust jacket, as issued.