Catalog 155, A-B
1. ALLISON, Dorothy. Two or Three Things I Know For Sure. (NY): Dutton (1995). The uncorrected proof copy of this narrative work based on a performance piece that Allison wrote and performed after the success of Bastard Out of Carolina, her first novel. Together with the photocopied typescript, which reproduces numerous changes and corrections, presumably authorial, including the excision of several long paragraphs, still visible. Edge tears to the cover sheet; otherwise fine. The proof copy is fine in wrappers. Allison's first novel was highly praised, and controversial. It was adapted for a television miniseries which won an Emmy award and was nominated for several others, but was for a time banned in Canada because of the controversial subject matter.
2. ANGELL, Roger. Five Seasons. A Baseball Companion. NY: Simon & Schuster (1977). The uncorrected proof copy of his second book on baseball, after the 1972 classic The Summer Game. Angell became the dean of American sportswriters, or at least baseball writers, with these two books, and he still contributes to the New Yorker periodically. He was the fiction editor there for many years. Foxing to covers; very good in tall, fragile, padbound wrappers. A fragile format, and a proof that dates from the era, pre-1978, when proofs were much less frequently saved and seldom filtered into the rare book market.
3. (Anthology). One Lord, One Faith, One Cornbread. Garden City: Anchor/Doubleday, 1973. The uncorrected proof copy of the first collection of pieces from the counterculture magazine The Free You in book form. The Free You was the magazine of the Mid-Peninsula Free University, one of the earliest experimental universities in the Sixties, near Stanford. Many of the contributors were from the "Perry Lane" crowd that gathered in Palo Alto in the early Sixties and included a number of writers from the Stanford Writing Workshops of Wallace Stegner, several of whom were experimenting with LSD and other drugs at the time. Larry McMurtry wrote a novelized account of the scene in his book All My Friends Are Going to be Strangers. This volume, which was published only in wrappers, contains one of Robert Stone's scarcest book appearances, "The Man Who Turned On the Here," about Ken Kesey "on the lam" in Mexico, and is one of the few places these longtime friends were directly linked in print prior to the 2006 publication of Stone's memoir of the Sixties, Prime Green. Other contributors include Richard Brautigan, Wendell Berry, Vic Lovell (the dedicatee of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Judith Rascoe (who co-wrote the screenplays for two of Robert Stone's novels) and Kesey himself, who contributes a poem, "Cut the Motherfuckers Loose." Tall wrappers; edge and spine sunned, with several corner chips or creases, and the binder's glue showing through on the label affixed to the front cover; very good. A very uncommon proof copy: proofs of softcovers are typically much scarcer than those of trade hardcovers, and this particular softcover was aimed at a relatively small and marginal reader population -- students or radicals associated with the counterculture. We've only ever seen this one copy.
4. (Anthology). The Best American Short Stories 1980. [Boston]: [Houghton Mifflin]. An advance issue consisting of unbound 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of this collection edited by Stanley Elkin and with stories by John Updike, John Sayles, Donald Barthelme, Frederick Busch, William Gass, Larry Heinemann, I.B. Singer, Grace Paley, Peter Taylor, Mavis Gallant, Elizabeth Hardwick and others. Elkin's introduction bears copyeditor's marks throughout. Minor edge wear to a few pages; else fine.
5. (Anthology). Edward Hopper and the American Imagination. NY: Whitney Museum of American Art/Norton (1995). Two separate advance states of this anthology of previously published writings in which some influence of Hopper is reflected, if only in "glimpses of private lives of quiet despair lived within the public arena." Contributors include Paul Auster, Ann Beattie, Thom Gunn, James Salter, Norman Mailer, William Kennedy, Walter Mosley, Grace Paley, Leonard Michaels, Galway Kinnell, Tess Gallagher, and others. Ringbound galley sheets, 8-1/2" x 11". Printed on rectos only, with a picture of the cover art laid in. Together with the unbound signatures. One edge tear on the title page of the signatures; otherwise both items fine. Scarce pre-publication states of this publication, which includes contributions by a number of notable contemporary American authors.
6. ARNOW, Harriette Simpson. The Kentucky Trace. NY: Knopf, 1974. The uncorrected proof copy of this novel of the American Revolution by the author of The Dollmaker, as well as several highly praised books of nonfiction on Kentucky and the Cumberland Valley. This novel is a fictional counterpart to her nonfiction history The Flowering of the Cumberland, published in 1963. Small date written at top spine; small crease mid-spine and mild spotting to rear cover; about near fine in tall wrappers. The critical and commercial success of The Dollmaker -- it was a runner-up for the National Book Award, which was won that year by William Faulkner -- made Arnow an iconic figure as female novelist, and her strong, and strong-willed, female characters caused her to be identified in later years as something of a proto-feminist writer.
7. BALLARD, J.G. Vermilion Sands. London: Jonathan Cape (1973). The uncorrected proof copy of the first U.K. edition, which was also the first hardcover edition. The story collection was originally published as a paperback original in the U.S. in 1971. Signed by the author. A little dust to lower text block, still fine in a near fine proof dust jacket. The book itself is quite scarce; the proof considerably more so. Ballard began his writing career as part of the New Wave of science fiction writers in the 1960s, who stretched the boundaries of the genre. He later won a Booker Prize for his semi-autobiographical novel Empire of the Sun and before he died was named by The Times as one of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945." A scarce book by an important writer.
8. BARTH, John. Letters. NY: Putnam (1979). The uncorrected proof copy of this elaborately constructed epistolary novel, by the author of The Sot-Weed Factor. This is a fine copy in an oversize proof dust jacket (rumpled where the jacket overhangs the book), inscribed by the author. Uncommon signed.
9. BARTHES, Roland. Camera Lucida. Reflections on Photography. NY: Hill & Wang (1981). Two sets of galley sheets for Camera Lucida, the first edition in English of this book by the French literary theorist and semiotician, which had been published in France a year earlier as La Chambre Claire. Translated by Richard Howard. Overlapping texts, but differing in page layout (hence pagination) and taped-on corrections to typeface. One set missing two prelims; the other set missing an apparent appendix. Each approximately 7 1/2" x 24"; folded in half; near fine. Together with the galley sheets of The Barthes Reader [NY: Hill & Wang (1982)], pages 76-136 only, thus without the Susan Sontag introduction. Sontag's On Photography and Barthes' Camera Lucida are considered two of the most important early critical and theoretical appreciations of photography as art. Fine. For the three galleys:
10. BASS, Rick. Wild to the Heart. (Harrisburg): Stackpole (1987). The uncorrected proof copy of his second book, a collection of essays on the natural world, written prior to his move to the Yaak Valley in the northwest corner of Montana. Bass has become a nationally known environmental activist since his move to Montana, where he was closely involved with the reintroduction of wolves to the wild in that state, among other activities. This copy was sent to Edward Hoagland for advance comment, and has a letter laid in to Hoagland from Bass's agent, pitching both Bass and the book. The proof is a bit dusty; near fine in wrappers. An uncommon proof.
11. BAUSCH, Richard. Violence. Boston: Houghton Mifflin/Seymour Lawrence, 1992. The uncorrected proof copy of this highly praised novel, his fifth. Inscribed by Bausch to the publisher, Seymour Lawrence in 1991, i.e. prior to publication. Corner of first couple pages wrinkled; else fine in wrappers. Uncommon: because of the advance reading copy that was done of this title, there appear to have been fewer proofs than usual of it. An excellent association copy: Lawrence was known for his support of young writers, and this was the first of Bausch's books that he published.
12. BAXTER, Charles. Through the Safety Net. (n.p.): Viking (1985). The uncorrected proof copy. A well-received collection of stories, which was the author's first book from a major trade publisher, after a couple of poetry chapbooks and a story collection from a university press. Fine in wrappers. In our experience, quite an uncommon proof.
13. BECKHAM, Barry. My Maine Mother. NY: Walker and Company (1969). The galley sheets of the first book by this African-American writer. Approximately 6 1/2" x 12"; ringbound at the top edge. Inscribed by the author in 1974. The book was later published with the title "My Main Mother." Covers edgetorn; near fine.
14. BELLOW, Saul. Herzog. NY: Viking (1964). The Nobel Prize winner's second National Book Award winner (of three). An advance copy, in the form of ring-bound galleys. Signed by Bellow in 1968, with the comment "long time, no see" -- presumably an indication that, even at that early date, the proof was already extremely scarce. The text of this book was changed while the book was still in galleys, and approximately two dozen pages have new text pasted over the originals. There are also several hand corrections to both new and old pages, and a couple of marginal comments (e.g. "Moses Herzog as demented artist"). Even with the added pages of text and the corrections, variations still exist between this version and the final published text. 10" x 5-1/4" galleys, ringbound in printed yellow cardstock covers; a bit handled and creased; very good. We know of only two other copies of this proof surfacing over the years. Scarce: a bibliographically significant copy of a key work by an American Nobel Prize winner.
15. -. Same title. The uncorrected proof copy of the first British edition. (London): Weidenfeld & Nicolson (1964). Rubbing to front spine fold; near fine in wrappers. An uncommon proof: few copies would have been done, and likely very few have survived. Oddly, Bellow's name doesn't appear on the cover of the proof with the publisher's name and the title. Together with a copy of the first British trade edition: a few spots to foredge, else fine in a very good dust jacket with minor rubbing to the spine and shallow chipping to the crown.
16. BELLOW, Saul. To Jerusalem and Back. NY: Viking (1976). The uncorrected proof copy of his first book of nonfiction, a personal account of his visit to Israel in 1975, published the year he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. This proof shows the change in subtitle from "A Personal Syllabus" to "A Personal Account." Spine- and edge-sunned; very good in wrappers. Together with a copy of the first edition, which is fine in a near fine, price-clipped dust jacket with one edge tear and a gutter nick. An uncommon proof.
17. BERGER, Thomas. Killing Time. NY: Dial, 1967. The uncorrected proof copy of his fourth novel, a takeoff on the murder mystery format in which the author defies the conventions of the genre in order to offer a comic, existential take on the questions of guilt and innocence and madness and sanity. Inscribed by the author in 1982. Spine cocked and tanned; faint cup ring front cover; very good in wrappers.
18. BOWLES, Paul. Without Stopping: An Autobiography. NY: Putnam (1972). The uncorrected proof copy of the first book of the author's memoirs. Bowles became one of the most influential figures of the postwar literary movement that came to be known as the "Beats" as a result of his stature as an expatriate writer, living in Morocco and immersing himself in the foreign culture, including the drug culture, there. Bowles's novels, notably The Sheltering Sky and Let It Come Down, often depict alienated Westerners confronting a foreign sensibility whose meaning and import eludes them, and who find themselves "in over their heads" in situations they don't understand, which can quickly turn dangerous, even fatal. As a metaphor for Western innocence and arrogance, his fiction transcends its locales and resonates with a more universal set of insights, as applicable to Southeast Asia, for example, as to Morocco. Indeed, it was during the 1960s at the height of the counterculture inspired in part by protest against the Vietnam War, that Bowles went from being a celebrated but obscure literary figure to being a cultural hero, whose experiments with drugs antedated by a generation those of the 1960s, and whose recognition of the strangeness and power of the cultural "Other" was beguiling to a new generation in rebellion against its own culture. Such icons of the Beat Generation, and later the counterculture, as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and others, would often visit Bowles in Tangier or Marrakech. This proof copy has a publisher's information label on the front cover, which is torn away at the edges and has an ink price notation on the label, but overall this is at least a very good copy in tall wrappers. Casual inspection reveals at least small changes from the published volume throughout the book.
19. BROWN, Larry. Facing the Music. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1988. The uncorrected proof copy of his first book, a collection of stories. Brown, from Mississippi, was the first writer to twice win the Southern Book Award, the major literary award given out by the Southern Book Critics Circle. Inscribed by Brown to Thomas Verich, the Special Collections Archivist at the University of Mississippi: "For Tom Verich/ I'm glad you liked these stories in my first book and I wish you a long and happy life. All best, Larry Brown/ Oxford, MS." A nice association copy. "Due July 5" written on front cover; corner crease; near fine in wrappers. Reportedly, only about 30 copies of the proof were done. A rare proof by an author who received wide critical acclaim and was just achieving wide public recognition when he died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 53.
20. BROWN, Rosellen. Street Games. Garden City: Doubleday, 1974. The uncorrected proof copy of her first book of fiction, a collection of stories. Publisher's informational sheet present but detached from front cover, leaving glue residue there. Mild creasing to rear cover; still near fine in tall, white wrappers. Uncommon format. There was also a comb bound issue in red wrappers.
21. BROWN, Rosellen. The Autobiography of My Mother. Garden City: Doubleday (1976). The uncorrected proof copy of her third book and first novel. Warmly and effusively inscribed by the author two months prior to publication: "____/ How Gerda would love you/ (for your enthusiasm, your vigorous/ devotion)! Whether or not you'd/ want to be loved by Gerda is/ another story)./ But for now I, who made/ Gerda, love you. I hope that's/ sufficient.../ Rosellen." Partial title written on the lower page edges; glue residue showing on front label; very near fine in tall wrappers. A scarce proof, and a nice inscription.
22. BURROUGHS, William. Dead Fingers Talk. London: John Calder/Olympia Press (1963). The uncorrected proof copy of this drug novel, which consists of an amalgam of sections from The Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine and The Ticket that Exploded, as well as some material not reproduced elsewhere. Small spot to lower edge of text block, else fine in plain green wrappers. Published at the height of Burroughs' experimentation with the cut-up technique, this volume embodies that approach, as well as anticipating the later variation of it that we now call "sampling." We have never seen another proof copy of this title, and have not seen any earlier Burroughs proof. There was no U.S. edition of this title. Rare.