Catalog 138, A-F
2. ACOSTA, Oscar Zeta. The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo. (San Francisco): (Straight Arrow) (1972). The uncorrected proof copy of the first book by the iconoclastic Chicano lawyer who was characterized so vividly in Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. A legendary and elusive figure who later disappeared, Acosta remains a quintessential character of the Sixties -- a gonzo lawyer plying his trade out there on the edge of political unrest, social turmoil, and the personal weirdness induced by overindulgence in psychedelia. Tall wrappers, with moderate foxing to page edges and two spots to front cover; about near fine. An extremely scarce proof: Straight Arrow Press was the publishing arm of Rolling Stone magazine, which at the time was still a small, cash-strapped counterculture magazine. Straight Arrow proofs are very scarce: we've only seen a small handful over the years, and have never seen another copy of the proof of this title. Housed in custom clamshell case, made with buffalo hide -- an attractive, unique artifact in itself.
3. BALDWIN, James. Go Tell It on the Mountain. NY: Knopf, 1953. The advance reading copy of his classic first novel, a story of life in the ghetto which helped instigate a renaissance in black literature in the Fifties and Sixties. An interesting advance copy in that the dust jacket art was changed radically between the issuance of this edition and the publication of the regular edition, reportedly at Baldwin's request. Spine slightly faded; a bit of wear at spine ends; still, a crisp, at least very good copy in wrappers of this fragile publication, much nicer than usually found. A Modern Library and Radcliffe book of the century.
4. BALLARD, J.G. Cocaine Nights. (London): Flamingo (1996). A novel by a writer who was associated with the British "new wave" science fiction movement in the early 1960s and later emerged as one of the leading avant garde writers in England. His award-winning autobiographical novel, Empire of the Sun, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and made into an Oscar-winning film. Signed by the author. Fine in a near fine, mildly rubbed dust jacket.
5. BANKS, Russell. Snow. Hanover: Granite (1974). His second book, poetry, and in our experience considerably scarcer than his first. Very good in stapled wrappers.
6. BANKS, Russell. The Relation of My Imprisonment. Washington: Sun & Moon Press (1983). A fiction by Banks, based on a literary form utilized by 17th century Puritans for turning their sufferings and privations into exemplary moral tales for their brethren. Inscribed by the author to two other writers in 1986. A nice association copy. Faint top edge foxing; else fine in a slightly spine-sunned dust jacket.
7. BANKS, Russell. Success Stories. NY: Harper & Row (1986). A collection of stories, whose venues range from New England to Latin America to Southeast Asia. Inscribed by the author to novelist and poet Lewis Warsh in the month prior to publication with "love." A nice association copy. Slight soiling along foredge; near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a little edge sunning and a couple edge tears.
8. BARKER, Pat. The Ghost Road. (London): Viking (1995). The final book in her acclaimed World War I trilogy, and winner of the Booker Prize. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
9. BELLOW, Saul. Dangling Man. NY: Vanguard (1944). The scarce first book by the Nobel Prize winner and three-time winner of the National Book Award for fiction -- an unprecedented accomplishment in American letters. Signed by the author, "Cordially, Saul Bellow" on the front free endpaper. Faint sunning to boards and a tiny bit of glue offsetting to the joints; very near fine in a very good, spine-faded dust jacket with shallow chipping to the spine ends and a few short edge tears. This is a wartime production printed on the cheap paper typical of the day; seldom encountered in collectible condition and even less common signed.
10. BERENDT, John. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. NY: Random House (1994). A highly praised literary nonfiction portrait of Savannah, Georgia, and of a murder trial there that wouldn't die. A surprise bestseller, and later the basis for a movie. Berendt switched agents for this book when his original agent believed the story would only have local appeal. The first edition is somewhat uncommon and certainly represents a minuscule percentage of the total number of copies printed. This copy is signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
11. BERGER, John. A Painter of Our Time. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1959. The first American edition of the first book by the author of Ways of Seeing, G. and To the Wedding, among many others. Berger began his writing career as an art critic, and this novel was written with the challenge of bringing a convincing portrait of a painter to fiction. Page edges darkening; near fine in a very good, spine-darkened dust jacket with slight edge wear and a few spots.
12. BLATTY, William Peter. The Exorcist. NY: Harper & Row (1971). Blatty's horror novel, which was the basis for the award-winning movie a year later by William Friedkin. Blatty won an Oscar for his screenplay. The Exorcist was one of the most successful horror movies of all time, and it was one of the key factors in bringing the field of horror, in literature and film, into its own, a process that was cemented by the emergence of Stephen King later in the decade, who became the bestselling novelist of all time. Signed by Blatty. Spine slightly cocked, with label removal abrasions on the front flyleaf; very good in a very good dust jacket with a crease on the front flap and black color added to the spine ends.
13. BOWDEN, Charles. Killing the Hidden Waters. Austin: U. of Texas Press (1977). The elusive first book, nonfiction, by the heir apparent to Edward Abbey in his role as vociferous critic of the exploitation and despoliation of the natural resources of the desert Southwest. In recent years Bowden has also expanded on Hunter Thompson's role as "gonzo journalist," taking investigative reporting into the underside of the Southwest border region, a lawless area of unimaginable violence and decay. This volume addresses the issues surrounding the scarce water resources of the region, viewed through a historical perspective that highlights the early Native American tribes' ability to manage the resources in a sustainable manner. A fine copy in a very good, well-rubbed dust jacket with one small chip on the front panel. Scarce.
14. BOWLES, Paul. The Sheltering Sky. (NY): New Directions (1949). The first American edition of Bowles's landmark first novel, a tale of Westerners abroad in North Africa, one of the seminal novels of the Beat generation, and an influential book in the decades since. Bowles's expatriates, in their search for meaning, their explorations of the North African cultures, and their experimentation with the drugs of northern Africa, were the models for many who followed, more or less, in their footsteps in the 50s and 60s and since. This copy is from the library of John Clellon Holmes, with his annotation: "Found in the Salvation Army, Providence, Rhode Island on Feb. 19, 1972." Underlining to one passage, on page 14: "...the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler, belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly...." An excellent association copy of sorts: Bowles was considered by many to have been the "father of the Beat generation" -- the established writer and mentor to younger writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac; he introduced William Burroughs to his longtime collaborator, artist Brion Gysin. Holmes, for his part, is considered to have written the first Beat novel, Go, which had characters based on Kerouac, Ginsberg and Neal Cassady, and was published in 1952, five years before Kerouac's On the Road. He also wrote an article for The New York Times in 1952, "This is the Beat Generation," the first public use of that name to define that group of writers. Mild top edge foxing; small stain rear free endpaper; near fine in a good dust jacket with only small chips at the spine ends but splitting along the front spine fold.
15. BOWLES, Paul. Collected Stories 1939-1976. Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow, 1979. The definitive collection of his short fiction, with an introduction and appreciation by Gore Vidal. One of 750 copies of the hardcover trade edition. This copy is inscribed by the author. Small foredge stain; else fine in an acetate dust jacket.
16. (BOWLES, Paul). NUTTING, Cherie, with Paul Bowles. Yesterday's Perfume: An Intimate Portrait of Paul Bowles. NY: Clarkson Potter (2000). The uncorrected proof copy of this memoir of Bowles, written in conjunction with him. Heavily illustrated. Large quarto; publicist's card stapled to half title; one edge tear; else fine in wrappers.
17. BRADBURY, Ray. Dark Carnival. Sauk City: Arkham House, 1947. Bradbury's first book, a collection of stories published by the specialty publishing house named after horror writer H.P. Lovecraft's fictional New England town. Inscribed by the author: "For ____ ____/ Bravo!/ Ray Bradbury/ 12/23/90." Bookplate of Arkham House co-founder Donald Wandrei on front pastedown, making this a nice association copy. Tiny nick to upper board; else a fine copy in a very good dust jacket with a creased edge tear to the lower front flap, a short edge tear to the rear joint and a very small blended spot to the spine.
18. BUCK, Pearl S. The Good Earth. NY: John Day (1931). The advance reading copy of the author's second book, a modern classic: winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the William Dean Howells Award for the best work of fiction to appear in a five-year span in America. The novel was made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1937, and Buck went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938 -- becoming one of the first women writers to win the most prestigious literary prize in the world. The Good Earth has been a staple on school reading lists ever since and is the first volume in a trilogy on Chinese peasant life that gave generations of Americans their first glimpse at a culture utterly different from their own. This copy is signed by the author on the half-title. Creasing to spine from binder's glue; the publisher's publicity pamphlet is tipped in, with a number of interesting details of the book's publication and promotion; the lower joint has been strengthened where the tipped-in sheet stressed the page. In custom clamshell case. A scarce, fragile prepublication issue of one of the high spots of 20th century American literature.
19. BURROUGHS, William S. The Naked Lunch. Paris: Olympia (1959). The first issue of the first edition of his second book, 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. Signed by Burroughs in 1996. Uneven sunning and a bit of creasing to covers; rubbing to the folds. A very good copy in a supplied, very good dust jacket with a small chip at the crown and some smoke-darkening to the spine. Burroughs signed this for a bookseller in Lawrence, Kansas, where he lived during the last years of his life.
20. BYATT, A.S. Possession. London: Chatto & Windus (1990). Her Booker Prize-winning novel, which also won the Irish Times/Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize. Made into the 2002 film by Neil LaBute which starred Gwyneth Paltrow, Aaron Eckhart and Jeremy Northam. Signed by the author in 1992. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
21. CABRERA INFANTE, G. View of Dawn in the Tropics. NY: Harper & Row (1978). A review copy of the first American edition of perhaps the most famous novel by this Cuban writer, whose parents were founding members of the Cuban Communist Party and who was a strong supporter of the Cuban revolution but eventually went into exile in 1965 after growing differences with the Castro regime. This book was first published in Spanish in Cuba in 1964. Inscribed by the author and signed by the translator, Suzanne Jill Levine. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a crease on the front flap, with review slip laid in.
22. CAMPBELL, Joseph and ROBINSON, Henry Morton. A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake. NY: Harcourt Brace (1944). Advance copy of the first book by Joseph Campbell, who later went on to become the leading writer on mythology and comparative religion in the 20th century, and one of the important popularizers of the ideas of C.G. Jung. This first book was a study of Joyce's great novel; his 1948 publication, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, set him on the path of explicating myths and legends, and finding the underlying cultural and psychological common ground of shared humanity. This advance copy was, like the book itself, produced under wartime conditions of restricted paper use. Bound in plain brown wrappers with publisher's typewritten label on the front cover. Tear at lower front joint; at least very good. An extremely scarce prepublication issue of an important first book.
23. CAMUS, Albert. L'Homme Révolté. (Paris): Gallimard (1951). A review copy, on ordinary paper, of this treatise on the revolutionary or rebellious mentality, by the author of The Stranger and The Plague, among other influential volumes in the postwar era. Inscribed by Camus to Jean Paulhan, the literary director at Gallimard, a nice association. Pages browning slightly; trace foxing to the cover's edges and folds; else fine in wrappers in original French-folded glassine. In custom clamshell case. A beautiful, near pristine copy of one of Camus' major titles, and the one that was most responsible for his now-famous break with Sartre.
24. (CHEEVER, John). Press Kit for Three Cheever Stories. NY: WNET . Extensive media kit for the PBS broadcast of three stories from Cheever's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection The Stories of John Cheever. "The Sorrows of Gin," "Oh Youth and Beauty!" and "The Five Forty-Eight," adapted by Wendy Wasserstein, A.R. Gurney and Terrence McNally, respectively, aired on three consecutive Wednesday nights. For each adaptation, the kit contains a synopsis, credits, and cast profile, with accompanying photographs of stars Sigourney Weaver, Edward Hermann, Eileen Heckart, Michael Murphy, Kathryn Walker, Laurence Luckinbill and Mary Beth Hurt. Also included is a photograph of Cheever, an interview in The Christian Science Monitor, and excerpts of the interview repackaged as a press release entitled "A Bite of Cheever." All elements fine, in an edge-sunned and mildly creased, near fine tri-fold decorated folder. Uncommon.
25. CROWLEY, John. Typescript of Trxx. (n.p.): (n.p.)(n.d.). A children's story by Crowley, about growing up different (on another planet). 27 page typescript, with Crowley's holograph corrections. As yet unpublished. Crowley is perhaps the most acclaimed fantasy writer of his generation: author of Little, Big, which won the World Fantasy Award and was a finalist for both the Hugo and Nebula awards, and Aegypt, which was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award; both titles were selected by David Pringle as being among the 100 best fantasy novels of all time, and Crowley's novel Engine Summer was selected by Pringle as one of the 100 best science fiction novels. Crowley's novella, "Great Work of Time," also won the World Fantasy Award and was a Nebula Award finalist. Several others of his stories, novels, and collections have been finalists for the various awards. Three of his novels were included in Harold Bloom's list of the defining books of the Western canon. His most recent book, Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land, was a well-received re-imagining of Byron's long-lost novel, couched in a contemporary story of scholarly inquiry. Crowley's papers have been institutionalized, so opportunities to acquire original manuscript material by him are rare. Mild edge creasing; near fine.
26. CROWLEY, John. Manuscript of Monas. (n.p.): (n.p.)(n.d.). 48 manuscript pages of an abandoned novel, comprising a 13-page description of the novel and two complete chapters. "Monas is a story about the conflicts between two nations, and between two magical realms as well. The two nations are England and Ireland. The two magical realms are the ancient order of fairies, and the new order of powers brought into being -- or rather brought under man's sway -- by the operations of newly-invented Renaissance magic: Hermetic, cabalistic, micro-macrocosmic, angelic." Written in Crowley's calligraphic hand on yellow legal sheets. A lengthy unpublished manuscript by one of the most highly regarded writers in his field. Some coffee staining (not affecting legibility) and modest edge wear. Near fine.
27. CROWLEY, John. Manuscript Review of The Fermata. 1994. Crowley's review of Nicholson Baker's The Fermata appeared in the 2/20/94 Washington Post. A five-page, handwritten, much-corrected manuscript on yellow-lined paper. Folded once to fit into a copy of the uncorrected proof of Baker's novel, also included. Crowley's notes on two pages of the proof; near fine in wrappers.
28. CROWLEY, John. Manuscript Review of Foxfire. 1994. Crowley's review of Joyce Carol Oates' Foxfire appeared in the 9/13/94 New York Times. Four yellow-lined pages, handwritten and heavily corrected. Folded once to fit into a copy of the uncorrected proof of Oates's novel, also included. Crowley's notes on two pages of the proof; near fine in wrappers. With a note from the Times editor to Crowley laid in.
29. (CROWLEY, John). LE GUIN, Ursula. Interfaces. NY: Ace Books (1980). An anthology of "speculative fiction" co-edited by Le Guin and Virginia Kidd. The lead-off story, "The Reason for the Visit," by Crowley, imagines a then-modern day visit from Virginia Woolf. This copy is signed by both Crowley and Le Guin. Also inscribed by Vonda McIntyre at her contribution. A bit of spine creasing; near fine in wrappers.
30. CRUMLEY, James. The Final Country. (NY): Mysterious Press/Warner (2001). A mystery novel featuring Crumley's hard-living anti-hero, Milo Milodragovitch. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
31. CUMMINGS, E.E. Tom. NY: Arrow Editions (1935). A ballet based on Uncle Tom's Cabin. One of 1500 copies. Frontispiece by Ben Shahn; printed by the Rydal Press in Santa Fe, N.M. Small bookplate on the verso of the first blank; otherwise a fine copy in a very good, lightly foxed dust jacket with two edge tears on the front panel and a small chip at the spine crown. A very attractive copy of this small book, and uncommon in this condition.
32. DAVIS, Lydia. Sketches for a Life of Wassilly. (Barrytown): Station Hill Press (1981). A small chapbook printing a single story; as best we can tell, her first book. Davis is a 2003 MacArthur Fellow, as well as one of the mainstay writers of McSweeney's, perhaps the defining organ of the literary avant garde in this country at present. This is the issue in wrappers and is very near fine. Apparently there was a (presumably very small) hardcover edition as well, which we have never seen. Station Hill has been one of the leading small presses for experimental fiction and literature in translation for a quarter century, and Davis -- whose novels and short fiction have received much praise -- has also been acclaimed for her translations of the poetry of Maurice Blanchot and, more recently, Proust's Swann's Way. $200
33. (DELILLO, Don). "The Engineer of Moonlight" in Cornell Review 5. (Ithaca): (Cornell University) (1979). DeLillo's first play, never produced nor published in book form. He has since gone on to write two other works for the stage, The Day Room and Valparaiso. Other contributors to this issue include Peter Klappert, Gordon Lish, William Hjortsberg, Thomas Disch, and others. Edge and spine-sunned; very good in wrappers.
34. (DOCTOROW, E.L.). TWAIN, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. NY: Oxford University Press, 1996. First thus, with an introduction by Doctorow and an afterword by Albert E. Stone. One of 300 numbered copies signed by Doctorow and Stone. Fine in a fine dust jacket. A volume in an attractive and little-known series of limited editions of Twain's works.
35. (DUBUS, Andre). Into the Silence. Cambridge: Green Street Press, 1988. A collection of stories edited by and with a reprinted introduction by Dubus, one of the most acclaimed writers of short fiction of his time. Other authors include Gina Berriault, Mark Costello, Susan Dodd, Pam Durban, Tobias Wolff and others, most of whose writings in this volume are the first book appearances of their respective pieces. No indication of a hardcover edition. Fine in wrappers.
36. ECO, Umberto and CARMI, Eugenio. The Gnomes of Gnù. (Milan): Bompiani (1992). The first English-language edition of this picture book, an ecological warning, with text by Eco and illustrations by Carmi. Signed by Eco. Two curse words on one page inked out; gift inscription front flyleaf; else fine in a fine dust jacket. Together with Towards the Catastrophe (Milan: Scwarz Gallery, 1970), the catalog of an exhibition of Carmi's work for which Eco provides the text, in the form of a lengthy letter to Carmi protesting the writing of the text on the basis of questions he has about Carmi's art; Carmi provides a response. Foxed; near fine in stapled wrappers. A pair of uncommon works by the semiotician who made a literary splash with his novel The Name of the Rose. For both:
37. EISELEY, Loren. All the Strange Hours. NY: Scribner (1975). The autobiography of this important literary naturalist. Inscribed by the author on the half-title in 1976. Additional gift inscription to the same recipient on verso of flyleaf. Boards slightly bowed with a thin strip of sunning to top edge; near fine in a near fine dust jacket with very mild edge sunning and two tiny closed edge tears.
38. ENGLANDER, Nathan. "The Twenty-Seventh Man." [NY]: [Knopf] . A single story from the then-forthcoming For the Relief of Unbearable Urges. 22 pages; double-spaced typescript; tapebound with Unbearable Urges cover art. Publisher's letter to sales reps laid in dated August, 1998; the book was published in April, 1999 and was one of the literary sensations of the year, immediately going into more than a dozen printings and selling more than 80,000 copies in hardcover. Englander, whose writing focused on Jewish themes, was compared to Saul Bellow, Philip Roth and, in one case, "Isaac Bashevis Singer on crack." Fine.
39. EUGENIDES, Jeffrey. Middlesex. NY: FSG (2002). The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by this Granta 20 and New Yorker 20 author, whose first book, The Virgin Suicides, was widely acclaimed as well. Signed by Eugenides. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
40. FOER, Jonathan Safran. Everything is Illuminated. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002. His first novel, one of the most highly praised literary debuts of the year -- named Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and winner of the Guardian First Book Prize, among other literary awards. A film adaptation was done by Liev Schreiber, which starred Elijah Wood and won the Laterna Magica Prize at the 2005 Venice Film Festival Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
41. FRANZEN, Jonathan. The Corrections. NY: FSG (2001). His National Book Award-winner. Franzen created a literary tempest in a teapot when he expressed reservations about his book being selected for Oprah Winfrey's book club, suggesting that a mass, "middle-brow" audience was not what he was after and not something he necessarily took as a compliment to his writing. This is the first issue, with pages 430 and 431 transposed, in the first issue dust jacket, without the Oprah seal. Signed by the author. Erratum slip laid in; fine in a fine dust jacket.
42. FRAZIER, Charles. Cold Mountain. NY: Atlantic Monthly (1997). His first book, a Civil War novel and a publishing phenomenon: after a modest 25,000 copy first printing, the book went into dozens of additional printings, eventually selling more than a million copies in hardcover and winning the National Book Award -- a rare combination of literary and commercial success for any work of fiction, let alone a first novel. Signed by the author in the year of publication. Fine in a fine dust jacket, with the John Berendt blurb attached on a label to the front panel (not exactly an issue point, as some copies had this affixed on publication day, while others didn't).