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Author's First Books, C-D

NOTE: This page is from our catalog archives. The listings are from an older catalog and are on our website for reference purposes only. If you see something you're interested in, please check our inventory via the search box at upper right or our search page.
63. CAMUS, Albert. L'Envers et L'Endroit. [The Right Way and the Wrong Way]. Alger: E. Charlot, 1937. First edition of the first book by the author of The Stranger and The Plague, among others. One of only 385 copies. Original wrappers, pinhole in endpaper, small creases, tiny tears, those to spine invisibly restored. Still, a remarkably nice copy of a scarce and fragile book. Half morocco slipcase.

64. CANIN, Ethan. Emperor of the Air. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988. The author's first book, a collection of stories that won a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship. Inscribed by the author in the month of publication: "For ____ -/ A good cook and a/ great man.../ From a fan -/ Ethan Canin." Canin was recently named one of Granta's 20 best young American writers. Fine in a near fine dust jacket, with slight rubbing on front panel and front flap fold.

65. CAPOTE, Truman. Other Voices, Other Rooms. NY: Random House (1948). First edition of Capote's first book, a novel that was an instant sensation and went through a number of printings, putting its young author on the literary map at the age of 22. This is a very near fine copy in a dust jacket that is moderately spine-darkened but also still near fine. An attractive copy of an important debut, and a much nicer copy than is usually seen.

66. CARR, Caleb. Casing the Promised Land. NY: Harper & Row (1980). The scarce first book by the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed novel, The Alienist. Small stamp "B" on half title; else fine in near fine dust jacket.

67. CARROLL, Jim. Organic Trains. (n.p.: n.p., n.d.) [Penny Press, 1967]. First book by the acclaimed teenage junkie-poet, about whom Jack Kerouac once wrote: "At 13 years of age, Jim Carroll writes better prose than 89% of the novelists working today." Author of The Basketball Diaries, which was recently made into a well-received film. This small volume, a collection of poetry printed by mimeograph and bound in stapled wrappers, was published while Carroll was still attending high school. Card-stock covers darkening; near fine.

68. CARROLL, Jim. The Basketball Diaries. Bolinas: Tombouctou (1978). His most famous book, and his first book of prose--a fictionalized memoir of growing up in the Sixties amid the New York City drug culture. Rubbed at the edges and folds, small stain on foredge, creased on the spine, and with pen tracks on the rear panel; almost very good in wrappers, with blurbs by William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. Although presented as autobiography and written in diary form, evidence both internal and external suggests that this book was something more of a carefully crafted artifact than merely a chronological compilation of facts and tales.

69. (CARROLL, Jim). "The Basketball Diaries" in The Paris Review, 50. (NY): (Paris Review) (1970). The first appearance of excerpts of these "diaries," eight years before their eventual publication in book form. It was this Paris Review publication that resulted in the considerable "buzz" about this book well before it was published. Very good in wrappers.

70. CARROLL, Jonathan. The Land of Laughs. NY: Viking (1980). His first book, a horror novel. Fine in a fine dust jacket.

71. CARTER, Angela. Shadow Dance. London: Heinemann, 1966. First edition of her first book, a novel. Small octavo. Fine in a price-clipped dust jacket with trace wear at the extremities. Inscribed by the author in 1988.

72. CARVER, Raymond. Winter Insomnia. (Santa Cruz): (Kayak Books) (1970). Carver's second book, a collection of poetry, published in an edition of 1000 copies attractively designed and printed by George Hitchcock, with prints by Robert McChesney. This was, in effect, Carver's "first regularly published book"--Kayak was a small but established publisher, which produced a literary magazine as well as issuing books of poetry, whereas Carver's first book, Near Klamath, was published by the English Club of Sacramento State College in a small edition that probably never received any formal distribution. Printed in yellow wrappers, stamped in light green and black, and perfectbound. Inscribed by the author in 1971. Signed copies of this title are uncommon, and copies signed before Carver began to be a widely collected author (around 1978) are exceedingly scarce.

73. -. Another copy, unsigned. Fine.

74. CARVER, Raymond. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?. NY: McGraw-Hill (1976). Carver's first collection of stories, a nominee for the National Book Award and the first book to bring him recognition beyond the small circle of literary insiders who were familiar with his writing from the literary magazines and the small press volumes he had done. These stories provoked a trend of "minimalist" writing that for a time was the dominant mode in American short fiction. More than they, Carver's writing reinvigorated the short story form as no other American writer had since Hemingway. One of the key short story collections of the postwar era. This copy is very good in a moderately worn dust jacket with a 1/4" chip at spine crown. Inscribed by the author to writer Andre Dubus "with admiration," an excellent literary association. Although signed copies of Carver's books are not uncommon--he was quite generous about signing books when asked--good literary associations are extremely rare.

75. CASEY, John. An American Romance. NY: Atheneum, 1977. Uncorrected proof copy of his highly praised first book, which was called by The New York Times Book Review "the best novel of the year." Casey's third book, Spartina, won the National Book Award. Erasure abrasion on front cover, and a small surface gouge on (blank) rear panel; otherwise fine. An auspicious debut.

76. CHANDLER, Raymond. The Big Sleep. NY: Knopf, 1939. Chandler's first novel, which introduced Private Eye Philip Marlowe and in so doing set the mystery genre on the path to literary respectability. Minor stain to the front flyleaf and a possible bookplate removal shadow; else fine in a fine dust jacket that has had slight professional restoration. A beautiful copy of a scarce and important book, one of the high spots of 20th century American literature. In a custom clamshell case.

77. CHARYN, Jerome. Once Upon a Droshky. NY: McGraw©Hill (1964). His first book. Fine in fine dust jacket and signed by the author. A very nice copy of a book that is notorious for the soft paper dust jacket fraying and fading.

78. CHATWIN, Bruce. In Patagonia. London: Cape (1977). An idiosyncratic nonfiction account of the author's journey to Patagonia--with historical vignettes interspersed with personal accounts--which put the author at the forefront of contemporary travel writers. Slight spine slant; near fine in a very near fine, price-clipped dust jacket. This, the true first edition, contains photos from the trip that were not included in the American edition published the following year.

79. -. Same title, the first American edition (NY: Summit Books, 1978). Boards sunned in the pattern of the dust jacket; small stain on front endpaper; still near fine in very near fine dust jacket.

80. CHEEVER, John. The Way Some People Live. NY: Random House (1943). His very scarce first book, printed during wartime in an edition of only 2750 copies. A collection of stories, almost none of which were ever reprinted in Cheever's lifetime (or since); Cheever pointedly did not include them in his later collections, and his family blocked publication of a posthumous collection that would have included them. Thus, the only way to read these stories has been in the scarce first edition, a situation that is not likely to change anytime soon. Very good, lacking the scarce dust jacket.

81. CHEEVER, John. The Wapshot Chronicle. NY: Harper & Brothers (1957). His third book and first novel, winner of the National Book Award. Signed by the author. A few small and light marks along the edges of the boards from a previous dust jacket protector; else fine in fine dust jacket. A very nice copy of this award-winning novel, which is uncommon signed.

82. -. Another copy, unsigned. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket with trace rubbing to rear spine fold.

83. CHESTER, Alfred. Here Be Dragons. Paris: Finisterre, 1955. His first book, a collection of stories that was only published in Paris. Of a total edition of 1125 copies, this is one of 1000 copies of the regular edition. Fine in self-wraps and sunned, near fine glassine dust wrapper. An attractive copy of a scarce and fragile book.

84. CHUTE, Carolyn. The Beans of Egypt, Maine. NY: Ticknor & Fields, 1985. The uncorrected proof copy of her first book, a novel of a backwoods Maine family which was both critically acclaimed and a surprise bestseller. Fine in mustard wrappers and signed by the author. Scarce.

85. CLAMPITT, Amy. The Kingfisher. NY: Knopf, 1983. Uncorrected proof copy of her highly praised first major collection of poems. The trade edition received universally glowing reviews and was reprinted many times, and established her as a major poetic voice. Near fine in wrappers.

86. CLANCY, Tom. The Hunt for Red October. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press (1984). The author's acclaimed first book, a surprise bestseller that initiated an entire genre--the "techno-thriller." Clancy's novels, beginning with this one, have been praised for their authenticity, especially with regard to the technology of the intelligence establishment. The subject of this book, which was made into a successful movie, is a submarine hunt, and the state-of-the-art details of contemporary submarine stealth and warfare are drawn with impressive authority, and without bogging down the plot. According to published reports, this was the first book of fiction ever published by the Naval Institute Press, and it is safe to guess that they did not anticipate its huge success. This is a fine copy in a fine dust jacket and is inscribed by the author. In custom clamshell box.

87. -. Another copy. Previous owner inscription; else fine in a near fine dust jacket with one edge tear and mild edge darkening.

88. CLARK, Mary Higgins. Aspire to the Heavens. A Portrait of George Washington. NY: Meredith Press (1968). The first book, a biography of George Washington, by this author who has since gone on to become a bestselling thriller writer, whose books sell in the hundreds of thousands--even millions, with paperbacks included--of copies. Near fine in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket with a tear at the upper front spine fold and on the front flapfold. A very scarce book.

89. COLLIER, John. His Monkey Wife. London: Davies, 1930. The most famous novel by the longtime editor of Time and Tide, an influential literary magazine in the '20s and '30s that published such writers as D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and Robert Graves before they had ascended to the literary pantheon. Collier is best known as "a writer of fantastic stories combining satire with the macabre and the supernatural." His Monkey Wife describes the marriage between an explorer and his pet chimpanzee. This is an uncorrected proof copy in plain brown unprinted wrappers. Inscribed by the author on New Year's Eve, 1930: "To Kenneth Marchall [?]/ Many happy returns/ John Collier/ December 31, 1930." Very good in wrappers. Rare.

90. COLWIN, Laurie. Passion and Affect. NY: Viking (1974). Her first book, a collection of stories. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with one externally tape-repaired open edge tear on the front panel.

91. CONNELL, Evan S., Jr. The Anatomy Lesson and Other Stories. NY: Viking, 1957. His first book. Inscribed by the author on behalf of a friend of the recipient, "with best wishes." Near fine in substantially spine-sunned dust jacket with rubbing at the spine crown and along the folds.

92. -. Another copy, also signed by the author. Very close to fine in a dust jacket that is substantially unfaded, showing evidence of having been in a dust jacket protector, and is also near fine. A very nice copy.

93. CONNELLY, Michael. The Black Echo. Boston: Little Brown (1992). The author's well-received first novel, introducing LAPD detective Hieronymous Bosch, a Vietnam vet. Winner of the Edgar Award for best first mystery novel of the year. Fine in a fine dust jacket and signed by the author. Long blurb by James Lee Burke.

94. CONROY, Pat. The Great Santini. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1976. The author's third book, first novel, which was made into a well-received movie. First printings of Conroy's recent books have numbered in the hundreds of thousands of copies, but this had a considerably smaller print run. Fine in fine dust jacket. A nice copy of an excellent book by one of the few authors to combine great commercial success with substantial critical acclaim.

95. CORNWELL, Patricia. Postmortem. NY: Scribners (1990). The first book in the popular and critically acclaimed mystery series featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Inscribed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.

96. CREWS, Harry. The Gospel Singer. (London): Gorse (1995). First thus, consisting of the reissue of his first novel, together with the first appearance of "Where Does One Go When There's No Place Left to Go?" Fine in self-wrappers, and signed by the author. No comparable U.S. edition.

97. CROWLEY, John. The Deep. (London): New English Library (1977). The first British edition of his first book. This is a hardcover edition of a book which apparently was printed up primarily for distribution as a mass market paperback. Small, pocket-book format and printed on cheap, acidic paper, so the page edges are darkening; else fine in a fine dust jacket. Uncommon issue of the debut novel of this important author, who had three of his six books listed in Harold Bloom's The Western Canon, and also had three novels make David Pringle's lists of the 100 best fantasy novels and best science fiction novels.

98. CRUMLEY, James. One to Count Cadence. NY: Random House (1969). The author's first book, of GIs in the Philippines in the early '60s, before being shipped to Vietnam. A few droplets have marked the top edge stain, but still a near fine copy in a dust jacket with a short tear at the upper edge of the rear panel and a little wear at the upper rear spine fold; still near fine. A nice copy, and signed by the author.

99. DAHLBERG, Edward. Bottom Dogs. London: Putnam's, 1929. One of 500 copies. With an introduction by D.H. Lawrence. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with very mild sunning to spine and light chipping to crown. A very clean, crisp copy of this book.

100. DAVIDSON, Donald. An Outland Piper. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1924. First book by one of the important members of the Fugitive group and co-founder of the Fugitive magazine. Poetry. Neat label removal abrasion on rear endpaper; else fine in decorated boards, apparently as issued.

101. DE HAVEN, Tom. Freaks' Amour. NY: Morrow, 1979. Uncorrected proof copy of this humorous first book, which became something of a cult novel; published as Morrow's first paperback original, in addition to having had a small hardcover printing. Fine in wrappers, with publisher's letter laid in.

102. DeLILLO, Don. Americana. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971. The author's first book, now quite scarce. This is a fine copy in a very near fine dust jacket with a minuscule bit of edgewear. A nearly perfect copy of a book that seldom turns up in nice shape these days.

103. DE VRIES, Peter. But Who Wakes the Bugler? Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1940. First book by this longtime New Yorker humorist. Warmly inscribed by the author "recalling a most delightful and all too brief vacation," and signed "Peter." Top stain faded; near fine in a very good, spine-faded dust jacket chipped at the extremities. The book and jacket are illustrated by Charles Addams, who later gained fame as creator of "The Addams Family"; this is a very early appearance of his artwork.

104. DEXTER, Pete. God's Pocket. NY: Random House (1983). First book by the author of the National Book Award-winning Paris Trout. Fine in near fine dust jacket and inscribed by the author with "warmest wishes."

105. DICK, Philip K. Solar Lottery. NY: Ace (1955). Dick's first book, a paperback original, bound back-to-back with Leigh Brackett's The Big Jump. Inscribed by the author to award-winning science fiction writer, Tim Powers, one of Dick's closest friends. A fine copy and an excellent association--Powers and Dick were very close during the last decade of Dick's life, and Powers has, fittingly, twice won the science fiction award named after Dick--the Philip K. Dick Award, which is given for the best science fiction novel published as a paperback original. An exceptional copy of an important first book.

106. DICK, Philip K. A Handful of Darkness. London: Rich & Cowan (1955). First edition, a collection of stories, and Dick's first book to be published in a hardcover edition (this precedes the English publication of his first book, later published in the U.K. as World of Chance). This copy, in heavy orange boards (no dust jacket), is the copy that Dick's bibliographer saw and mentioned as either a later binding state or a privately rebound copy of the second state of the book. He suggested it was the latter, and we would concur. Inscribed by the author to Tim and Serena Powers: "To Tim & Serena/with love/ Philip K. Dick." An excellent association copy of his rare first hardcover.

107. -. Another copy. Offsetting to the endpages, mild foxing to the top page edges, and a small bookstore stamp on the front pastedown; still a very near fine copy in like, price-clipped dust jacket with mild foxing to verso, light rubbing to rear, white panel, and two very short closed edge tears. Despite the list of small flaws, still a very attractive copy of an extremely scarce book.

108. DIDION, Joan. Run River. NY: Obolensky (1963). First book, a novel, by this writer whose astringent fiction and essays comprise one of the defining voices of our time. Mild foxing to pastedowns and light rubbing to cloth at the extremities and corners; still a near fine copy in a very good dust jacket that was much-creased on the rear panel during the printing process, and which has one internally tape-repaired corner tear.

109. -. Another copy. Very near fine in a very good dust jacket. A nice copy of the first book of one of the most important American women writers of the postwar era.

110. DILLARD, Annie. Tickets for a Prayer Wheel. (Columbia): U. of Missouri Press (1974). Her first book, a collection of poetry, published the year before she won the Pulitzer Prize for her first work of prose, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Light foxing to top edge; very near fine in like dust jacket with some surface soiling on the front panel. A scarce and fragile book, published by a university press--suggesting that distribution to the mainstream book trade was quite limited, and bound in thin, flexible cloth boards that are easily susceptible to wear.

111. DOCTOROW, E.L. Welcome to Hard Times. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1960. His very scarce first book. Pages darkening with age, as usual--according to a note from Doctorow dating from the mid-Sixties, copies of this book were already showing their age through the browning of the paper. Still, near fine in a dust jacket with one nearly invisible edge tear on the front panel. A very presentable copy of the uncommon first book by the author of Ragtime, who has won virtually every major literary award in this country and whose multi-volume fictionalized history of New York City is one of the most ambitious and successful ongoing literary achievements of our time.

112. DODGE, Jim. Fup. (Berkeley): City Miner (1983). Second printing of his first book, an underground classic published by a small press, later picked up by a major New York publisher and reissued in hardcover. This is a numbered edition, identified as being "Coyodero Community Edition #148" and signed by the author. Near fine in wrappers. An important debut, by a writer who has gone on to gain considerable recognition and critical acclaim.

113. DOIG, Ivan. This House of Sky. NY: HBJ (1978). The author's first publication for the general book trade, winner of numerous awards, including being voted one of the five best books ever written on Montana. A finalist for the National Book Award. Lower corners bumped; else fine in a near fine, spine-faded jacket.

114. DONLEAVY, J.P. The Ginger Man. Paris: Olympia (1955). The author's first book. No. 7 in the Traveller's Companion series, a publishing choice by maverick publisher Maurice Girodias (who published Lolita and Naked Lunch, among others) which later cost him his entire company, when Donleavy finally won a 25-year long suit resulting from Girodias marketing his novel as part of a pornography series. Minor creasing to spine and rear cover; near fine in wrappers.

115. -. Same title, the first hardcover edition, the first British edition (London: Neville Spearman, 1956), and also the first "expurgated" edition of this novel, which was later also published in the U.S. in an edition that was touted as being "revised by the author." It wasn't until the mid-'60s that an unexpurgated edition of this novel was published in the U.S. Very good in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket. A nice copy of a scarce edition of an important book.

116. DORRIS, Michael. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water. NY: Henry Holt (1987). His highly praised first novel. Dorris is a professor at Dartmouth College and is of Irish, French and Modoc Indian descent. His wife is writer Louise Erdrich, and the two have co-written several books, and have claimed in interviews to have collaborated on all their books, including her bestselling and award-winning novels and this novel. Dorris's book of nonfiction, The Broken Cord--about their family's raising an adopted son who was a victim of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome--won the National Book Critics Circle Award. Very near fine in like jacket.

117. -. Same title, advance reading copy in pictorial wrappers. Fine.

118. DU BOIS, W.E.B. The Quest of the Silver Fleece. Chicago, 1911. The first novel by the author of The Souls of Black Folk, who was the most prominent African-American thinker and writer of his time, and was a co-founder of the NAACP. Du Bois is most well-known for his nonfiction--historical and sociological studies of blacks in America and Africa, but he also wrote a number of novels pertaining to black life and issues. This is a fine copy in the rare pictorial dust jacket, which is chipped and taped on verso, but is nonetheless remarkable for being present at all. Full morocco case.

119. DUBUS, Andre. The Lieutenant. NY: Dial, 1967. The author's uncommon first book, and his only novel--a military tale not unlike William Styron's book The Long March--a story of the peacetime military and the challenges to manhood and honor that its rigid code of morals creates. Dubus has been quoted as saying that after he wrote this novel someone introduced him to Chekhov's short stories, and he threw away the manuscript of what was to be his next novel and began writing short fiction--of which he is now one of our most acclaimed and accomplished practitioners. This is a fine copy in a very good dust jacket with a long but mild crease to the rear panel and two small, internally mended edge tears.

120. -. Another copy. Sticker abrasion front endpapers; foxing and short gouge to top page edges; minor watermark to upper cloth edge. An about very good copy in like jacket with some edge foxing and two gutter tears, one open. Signed by the author.

121. DUNN, Katherine. Attic. NY: Harper & Row (1970). First book by the author of the much-acclaimed Geek Love. Small, neon ownership label front pastedown; else fine in fine dust jacket.

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