Catalog 139, A-B
2. (ABBEY, Edward). PETRILLO, R.J. Catching it Whole. (Windsor): (Self-Published) (1972). A collection of poems by Petrillo, a Southwestern poet, with an introduction by Edward Abbey. Near fine in rubbed wrappers. Signed by Petrillo. In addition, this copy of the book is hand-corrected by the author, who has annotated several poems, including replacing an entire stanza in one. An interesting copy, and an uncommon Abbey appearance.
3. -. Another copy. Near fine in rubbed wrappers and signed by the author.
4. ABBOTT, Edwin A. "A. Square." Flatland. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1885. The first American edition of this classic fable, published pseudonymously and in print continuously for more than a century. Illustrations by the author. Owner gift inscription on flyleaf; darkening to spine; handling apparent on boards; light fraying to the corners and ends. A very good copy, without dust jacket. One of the most significant books published in the late 19th century, Flatland posited a way for the inhabitants of its two-dimensional world to conceive of higher dimensions such as our own three-dimensional world, and by extension a way for inhabitants of a three-dimensional world to do the same. Prior to Einstein's general theory of relativity, it aimed at redefining the frame of reference of our perceptions of the world, and opening up the possibility of the kind of self-awareness that came to characterize the modernist, and post-modernist, perspective.
5. ACHEBE, Chinua. No Longer at Ease. London: Heinemann (1960). The Nigerian author's second book, which, like his first, Things Fall Apart, deals with the intersection of European and tribal cultures in contemporary Africa. Slight spine lean; else fine in a near fine, price-clipped dust jacket with a paper clip indent on top edge, a stamp shadow to the front panel and faint tanning to the spine. A nice copy of an uncommon book, by one of the most important African authors of the 20th century.
6. ADAMS, Richard. Watership Down. London: Rex Collings, 1972. The first edition of Adams' classic first novel, a fable about rabbits that became both a surprise bestseller and an acclaimed literary parable. Winner of the Guardian award for children's fiction and the Library Association's Carnegie Medal for outstanding work by a children's author, selected as one of Pringle's 100 best fantasy novels, and made into an award-winning animated film. Trace wear to boards; else a fine copy in a very near fine, mildly sunned dust jacket with a hint of wear at the crown.
7. ANDERSON, Kent. Night Dogs. (Tucson): Dennis McMillan, 1996. His second novel, which follows Hanson, the protagonist of his first novel, Sympathy for the Devil, after his return from Vietnam to his job as a beat cop in Portland, Oregon -- a path the author himself also took. This novel became one of the year's most sought-after books: the small first printing (1900 copies) was quickly exhausted; the book was later published by Bantam in 1998. This is the limited edition, one of only 100 copies bound in quarter morocco and marbled paper boards and signed by Kent Anderson and James Crumley, who provides the introduction. Fine in a fine dust jacket and publisher's slipcase.
8. (Anthology). Heart of the Land. NY: Pantheon (1995). A review copy of this anthology of essays about some of the world's "last great places," published under the auspices of The Nature Conservancy. With a foreword by Barry Lopez. Signed by contributors Rick Bass, David James Duncan, Peter Matthiessen, Carl Hiaasen, Bill McKibben and Thomas McGuane. Other contributors include Terry Tempest Williams, Jim Harrison, Linda Hogan, Barbara Kingsolver, Paul Theroux, Dorothy Allison, Annick Smith, Louise Erdrich, William Kittredge, James Welch, Pam Houston and Philip Caputo. Fine in a fine dust jacket with review slip, publicity information and an invitation to a publication party laid in.
9. (Anthology). The Book That Changed My Life. NY: Modern Library (2002). The uncorrected proof copy of this collection of interviews with winners of and finalists for the National Book Award on the connection between reading and writing. Authors include Don DeLillo, E.L. Doctorow, Robert Stone, Barry Lopez, Grace Paley, Charles Johnson, Alice McDermott, Cynthia Ozick and others. Fine in wrappers.
10. ATWOOD, Margaret. The Trumpets of Summer. (Toronto): (Berandol Music) (1964). An early, ephemeral piece by Atwood -- a libretto for a choral suite for mixed chorus, four soloists, male speaker, and six instruments; commissioned by the CBC for the Shakespeare Quatercentenary. First performed in Montreal on November 29, 1964. Music by John Beckwith; although only the text is printed here. It is unlikely that many of these would have been created, let alone have survived all this time. A scarce item, preceding her first novel by five years. Fine in stapled wrappers.
11. ATWOOD, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. The first American edition of her most famous novel, a haunting story of an all-too-believable future, part satire and part cautionary tale. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket with a promotional postcard laid in.
12. ATWOOD, Margaret. In Search of Alias Grace. (Ottawa): University of Ottawa Press (1997). Atwood delivers the Charles R. Bronfman Lecture in Canadian Studies, "on Writing Canadian Historical Fiction." 40 pages; fine in wrappers.
13. AUDEN, W.H. Poems. London: Faber & Faber (1930). His first book, printed in an edition of 1000 copies. Auden came to be considered the most influential poet of his generation. A little rubbing to the rear spine fold; very near fine in self-wrappers. A very nice copy of a scarce and fragile book, seldom found in this condition.
14. AUDEN, W.H. Spain. (London): Faber and Faber (1937). A pamphlet printing a single poem, published in an edition of 2913 copies. Royalties from the sale of this volume were donated for medical aid for victims of the Spanish Civil War. Fine in stapled self-wrappers. Together with a 5-page typed "fair copy" of the poem unsigned in Auden's hand on page 5, where Auden has written: "This poem I disapprove of and have cut out of my Collected Poems, so will not sign it." Auden famously went to Spain in 1937 during the Civil War in support of the Republican cause. He gave radio broadcasts for the Republican forces. In later years, he disavowed his explicitly political, and leftist, poetry and removed both this poem and his famous antiwar poem, "September 1, 1939," from his Collected Poems, and thus from his official body of work, as he saw it. An interesting, first person holograph statement of his feelings about this poem and, by extension, his early political leanings.
15. AUDEN, W.H. The Collected Poetry of W.H. Auden. NY: Random House (1945). The first selection of his collected works, which included all the poems he wished to preserve from his first fifteen years of publishing -- including the political poetry referred to above -- as well as several prose pieces. Signed by the author. Fine in a near fine, spine- and edge-sunned dust jacket with one short edge tear and a tiny corner chip. An important book, and uncommon signed.
16. AUDEN, W.H. The Shield of Achilles. NY: Random House, 1955. Winner of the National Book Award. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket but for a strip of orange that has faded to yellow on the spine. A beautiful copy and, again, uncommon signed.
17. BALLARD, J.G. The Atrocity Exhibition. London: Jonathan Cape (1970). The first edition of this book that was published in the U.S. in 1972 as Love & Napalm: Export U.S.A. -- an influential collection of new wave science fiction stories that helped bridge the gap between science fiction and the artistic and political avant garde. Ballard's novel Crash derived from one of the stories, and others such as "Why I Want to Fuck Ronald Reagan" became landmarks in their own right. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with fading to the spine lettering.
18. BECKETT, Samuel. Poems in English. NY: Grove Press (1963). The first American edition of this collection of Beckett's poems, either written in English or translated by the author from the French, spanning the years 1930-1948. Signed by the author. Light upper corner bumps; near fine in two near fine dust jackets. From the library of Beckett's editor at Grove Press, Richard Seaver. Seaver also translated a number of Beckett's works into English.
19. BERENDT, John. The Conroy Saga. (n.p.)[Charleston]: Chapter Two Bookstore, 1995. A limited edition, and the first separate appearance of this essay by Berendt about Pat Conroy, which was first published in Vanity Fair magazine. One of 300 numbered copies signed by Berendt and Conroy. Fine in stapled wrappers.
20. BERRY, Wendell. From the Distance. (n.p.): Woodland Pattern Book Center, 1982. A broadside poem, printed on the occasion of a reading by Berry. One of 150 copies. Signed by the author. 10" x 15 1/2". Fine.
21. BERRYMAN, John. Two Poems. 1970. Two Berryman poems, "In Memoriam (1914-1953)" and "Another New Year's Eve," issued as a holiday greeting from the Berrymans (Martha, Kate and John) and Bob Giroux. Inscribed at some length by John Berryman across the front cover. The recipient, unnamed on the greeting, is another author. Staples rusted; else fine in wrappers. Also included is another card from Kate, Martha and Sarah Berryman only, and a photocopy of Berryman's 1970 poem "A Prayer After All." Autograph material by Berryman is uncommon.
22. BORGES, Jorge Luis. El Jardin de Senderos Que Se Bifurcan. Buenos Aires: Sur (1942). Borges' first important work of fiction, the first of the "ficciones" for which he was to become famous. These stories were later published in his acclaimed volume Ficciones, published in 1944, which was a breakthrough book for the author. This, however, was the first publication of these stories, in the collection whose title translates as "The Garden of the Forking Paths," and for which there is no comparable English-language edition. Borges' first fiction had been published several years earlier, in the collection Historia Universal de la Infamía -- or "Universal History of Infamy" -- which was a book of "falsifications and distortions," but nonetheless based on the lives, and legends, of real characters. It was only with this volume that Borges first plunged into the wholly fictional creations for which he earned a reputation as one of the great writers of the 20th century. This volume contains some of Borges' most famous, and most widely reprinted, stories -- "The Library of Babylon," "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" and "Pierre Menard," among others. This copy is an extraordinary association copy, inscribed by Borges to his sister, Norah, and her son: "Para Norah y Miguel, con el cari o y la simpatia de/ Jorge Luis Borges." Norah Borges illustrated Jorge's first book of poems, Luna de Enfrente, in 1923, so the family association is also closely linked with the early publication of his writing. 1995 ownership signature of Miguel; wrappers slightly darkened, particularly along the spine; folds rubbed; a near fine copy of this extremely fragile volume, in the pale blue wrappers typical of Sur publications of the time, which are notoriously prone to sunning, fading and wear. Rubbing and wear at the joints, but this is still a well-preserved and attractive copy, and is scarce thus, let alone as an important association copy. Borges has been called the greatest writer to not win the Nobel Prize, and it has been said, and widely agreed, that this failure reflected more poorly on the Nobel Prize committee than on the author.
23. BORGES, Jorge Luis and LEVINSON, Luisa Mercedes. La Hermana de Eloisa. Buenos Aires: Ene Editorial (1955). An uncommon collaboration by Borges, who wrote two of the stories in this volume with Levinson writing the other two. Levinson later wrote that the possibility of collaborating with Borges "dismayed" her: he was not nearly as well-known as he came to be later, but among writers he was viewed as a "writer's writer," and she was not sure she was up to the task of a collaboration. This copy is inscribed by Borges to Mandie (Molina Vedia): "Para Mandie con el afecto de/ Jorge Luis Borges." Mandie Molina Vedia was one of Borges' greatest loves (he dedicated one of the stories in Ficciones to her, and she provided a vignette for one of his books in 1947). Some rubbing to the folds and a bit of creasing to the rear cover; near fine in self-wrappers.
24. BORGES, Jorge Luis. Ficciones. NY: Grove Press (1962). The first American edition of Borges' most famous work, the book which, when translated into French, won the Prix Formentor and when translated into English won Borges an immediate following and placed him at the head of a whole generation of writers experimenting with the forms and structures of fiction: Barth, Barthelme and the other (North) American writers of the Sixties drew inspiration form Borges' "fictions." Beloved in his native country as a poet, admired worldwide for his "fictions," he was also a formidable scholar and translator. He translated Kafka from the German and Faulkner from English -- both of them writers of extreme subtlety and depth in their respective languages. He wrote introductions to American and English literature that are unparalleled in their succinctness and erudition. Nearly two decades after his death, he ranks as one of the half-dozen greatest figures of world literature of the Twentieth Century. Rectangular shadows front pastedown; near fine in a very near fine, lightly rubbed dust jacket.
25. BORGES, Jorge Luis. Prólogos. Buenos Aires: Torres Agüero (1975). A collection of Borges' introductions to other writers' works, with an added introduction to this collection. Signed by the author. Small bookstore stamp on first blank; spine cocked and creased; very good in wrappers. Uncommon: the first printing was only 5000 copies, a very small number for Borges at that point in his career, and doubtless very few of them would ever have been signed.
26. BOWDEN, Charles. Book Collecting: The Last Refuge of the Illiterate. (Salt Lake City): Ken Sanders Rare Books, 2005. A limited edition, printing the text of a talk Bowden gave at the opening of Ken Sanders Rare Books in 1996. Of a total edition of 126 copies, this is one of 100 numbered copies signed by the author. Fine in saddle-stitched wrappers. Bowden, the author of numerous highly praised books of nonfiction and a longtime editor at Esquire, has been likened to a cross between Edward Abbey and Hunter Thompson; needless to say, he pulls no punches in this humorous commentary on book collecting and book collectors.
27. -. Same title. One of 26 lettered copies signed by the author. Hardcover; fine without dust jacket, as issued.
28. BOWLES, Jane. Two Serious Ladies. NY: Knopf, 1943. Her first book, a wartime production and a very scarce book in nice shape. This copy belonged to poet James Laughlin, who was also the founder of New Directions Press, which published the American edition of Paul Bowles's The Sheltering Sky in 1949. Laughlin's ownership label on the front flyleaf, with the holograph notation "Please return to." Cloth fraying at the spine extremities; near fine in a very good dust jacket with only modest edge wear but heavy rubbing at the folds. Over the years, Jane Bowles's output was remarkably small, but her influence on later generations of women writers has been out of all proportion to the quantity of her production.
29. BOWLES, Paul. Let it Come Down. NY: Random House (1952). The first American edition of his second novel which, like his first, is a tale of expatriate North Americans in North Africa. Inscribed by the author to the editor of City Lights books: "for Bob Sharrard/ It will be rain tonight./ And very likely tomorrow/ night as well. (In Casablanca,/ God forbid.) Best/ Paul B./ 26/IX/87/ Tangier." City Lights published Bowles' collection of North African tales, A Hundred Camels in the Courtyard, in 1962 -- long before Sharrard joined the firm -- but the book became one of the publisher's perennial bestselling titles, staying in print for decades, and Bowles' relationship with City Lights continued throughout his life. A nice association copy, and nice inscription. Trade editions signed by Bowles are quite uncommon, as he tended to stay in North Africa and thus was not easily available for signing books. Tips rubbed; very near fine in a near fine, lightly rubbed dust jacket with shallow chipping at the crown and small stains on verso.
30. BOWLES, Paul. The Spider's House. NY: Random House (1955). His third novel, about a group of Westerners adrift in the alien culture of Morocco, a subject he explored repeatedly and to great effect. Inscribed by the author: "For Bob Sharrard./ Next time stay longer./ Paul Bowles/ Tangier/ I/VI/86." Again, a nice association, inscribed to the editor of City Lights books, publisher of Bowles' A Hundred Camels in the Courtyard and, during the 1980s, a number of his translations of North African and Central American writers. Fine in a very good dust jacket with very light wear but for a closed, internally tape-repaired jagged edge tear at the lower front corner.
31. BOWLES, Paul. Without Stopping: An Autobiography. NY: Putnam (1972). The first book of the author's memoirs. Bowles became an influential figure during the years of the Beat movement and his popularity and relevance persisted through the counterculture period of the 1960s, as many of his tales dealt with young Americans experimenting with drugs and encountering foreign cultures for the first time. This copy is inscribed by the author to Jordan Massee in Atlanta in 1994: "For Jordan Massee/ with thanks for the/ Norman Douglas." Massee was a mutual friend of Bowles and Tennessee Williams, themselves longtime friends and collaborators on a number of Williams' plays; a wonderful association copy. Books signed by Bowles -- other than the limited editions he did -- are quite uncommon; significant association copies are extremely scarce. White cloth a bit dusty; near fine in a near fine, lightly edgeworn dust jacket.
32. BURDETT, John. Bangkok 8. NY: Knopf, 2003. The advance reading copy of the author's highly praised first book, an unusual noir mystery set in Bangkok with a protagonist whose Buddhist sensibilities become a feature of the plot. Fine in wrappers.
33. BURGESS, Anthony. A Clockwork Orange. London: Heinemann (1962). The true first edition of Burgess' alarming and controversial view of a future beset by violence, technological excess and authoritarianism, made into a classic film by Stanley Kubrick in 1971. The ending was changed for the American edition published a year later, and the last chapter was left out. The Kubrick movie was based on the text of that edition, and it was not until much later that the book was re-released with the original ending restored. Bookplate front pastedown; else a fine copy in the second issue (purple) binding in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket with a bit of tanning to the spine and a couple short edge tears. An attractive copy of an important high spot of modern literature.
34. BURROUGHS, William S. The Naked Lunch. Paris: Olympia (1959). 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. This copy has the "new price" stamp on the rear panel and a bookplate inside the front cover; near fine, without dust jacket.