First edition of Ayn Rand's magnum opusNew York, 1957
First edition of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus and certainly one of the most influential books published in the 20th century. A superior copy with the original dust jacket, in the original green cloth. Near fine with text remarkably clean and text block solid (rarely the case with this stout octavo), small spot to front board; dust jacket bright and clean with few small creases and tiny chips; spine lightly toned, overall an excellent copy of a book seldom seen in such nice condition. All first issue points present.
First edition, signed by David MametNew York, 1976
FIRST EDITION, hardcover issue, SIGNED BY MAMET on dedication page. Winner of the 1976 Obie Award and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play of 1977; made into a 1996 film starring Dustin Hoffman. Octavo, original yellow cloth, original dust jacket; custom half-morocco box. A FINE COPY.
First edition, with a lengthy inscription by Sherwood AndersonNew York, 1920
FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY SHERWOOD ANDERSON. “Dear David… One incident about the writing of this book will amuse you. The murder of Jim Gibson was written at the back of a little boat-laying place in Mobile Alabama while some sailors at a nearby table discussed the divinity of Christ. Sherwood Anderson.” Octavo, original blue cloth. Dust jacket lacking. Spine sunned, light wear at spine head. A handsome copy with a superb inscription.
First edition, inscribed by John FanteNew York: , 1938
FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED on the front endpaper. “For Miss Fowler, who taught me all about radio, –– with all good luck / John Fante” Octavo, original cloth, dust jacket. An excellent copy in a superb dust jacket with only minor toning to rear panel.
Signed by Walt WhitmanWashington, D.C. , 1872
FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY WHITMAN. “As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free”, before becoming the final addition to the final edition of Leaves of Grass, was published independently by Whitman in 1872, twenty years before the poet’s death. The title poem was written as a commencement for Dartmouth College as one of the few pieces Whitman recited publicly. With large Whitman signature across title page. Octavo, original dark green cloth; custom half-morocco box. Minor discoloration to pastedowns. a little fraying to spine ends and corners.
New York, 1926
“The tone of the ‘beat’ world, as Burroughs first perceived it, chimed with the world of Jack Black.” –James Campbell, This is the Beat Generation FIRST EDITION of Black’s influential autobiography; with the extremely rare original dust jacket. This book is often hailed as the first “Beat ” book. The memoir of a notorious thief, vagabond, and ‘honorable’ outlaw, You Can’t Win was a bestseller upon its publication in 1926. It would become a favorite book of William S. Burroughs (whose “Junkie” is modeled after it) and with its depiction of a free, loose, nomadic lifestyle, become one of the most influential works for the Beat movement. Burroughs claimed that, in his representation of the dying days of the Wild West, Jack Black “has recorded a chapter of specifically American life that is now gone forever,” a way of life that Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and others would try to adapt and re-create for their own generation. Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket; custom box. Early owner signature on front endpaper. Book fine, dust jacket shows wear at spine, with large chip at tail. Scarce in dust jacket.
New York, 1952
FIRST EDITION of Ellison’s first book, winner of the 1953 National Book Award for Fiction. A fine copy. Ellison’s “importance as a writer was established by his first novel, Invisible Man, published in April 1952. Immediately acclaimed by critics, it was recognized not merely as an excellent novel by a black author, but as a great literary achievement. In The Negro Novel in America, Robert Bone called Invisible Man ‘quite possibly the best American novel since World War II.’ Also well received by general readers, the novel spent sixteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list” (American National Biography). Octavo, original beige cloth, original dust jacket; custom half-morocco box. A fine copy.
Signed by Ken KeseyNew York, (1962)
FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY KEN KESEY. Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket. First issue dust jacket (with Kerouac’s blurb on front flap). Owner signature at front pastedown. A nearly fine copy in very lightly toned jacket with trivial wear at spine ends and small waterstain at inside front flap. An excellent copy signed by Kesey on the front free endpaper.
FIRST EDITION of Kerouac's first novel SIGNED AND INSCRIBED by KerouacNew York, 1950
FIRST EDITION of Kerouac’s first novel SIGNED AND INSCRIBED by Kerouac to Judge Vincent Lupiano who performed the wedding service for Kerouac’s marriage to Joan: “A thousand thanks for tying my marital knot–Best luck in all the world to you & yours–Sincerely, Jack Kerouac and his new missus, Joan”. With letter of provenance from Lupiano’s son. “For too many readers, and critics as well, Kerouac begins and ends with On the Road, yet he had already been writing and publishing for years when he produced the seminal Beat text… Readers who are interested in understanding Kerouac’s themes and methods, as well as his place in American literature, owe it to themselves to start with Kerouac’s first book” (Michael J. Dittman, Jack Kerouac: A Biography). With “Compliments of the Author” card laid-in. Inscribed on the front free endpaper. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket; custom box. Book very good, dust jacket with mild edgewear and some foxing to rear panel.ker
First edition of Robert Frost's first volume of poetry, A FINE COPYLondon, 1913
FIRST EDITION, in the rare first-issue binding (“binding A”), of Robert Frost’s first book of poetry. “By 1911 Frost was fighting against discouragement. Poetry had always been considered a young person’s game, but Frost, who was nearly 40 years old, had not published a single book of poems and had seen just a handful appear in magazines. In 1911 ownership of the Derry farm passed to Frost. A momentous decision was made: to sell the farm and use the proceeds to make a radical new start in London, where publishers were perceived to be more receptive to new talent. Accordingly, in August 1912 the Frost family sailed across the Atlantic to England. Frost carried with him sheaves of verses he had written but not gotten into print. English publishers in London did indeed prove more receptive to innovative verse, and, through his own vigorous efforts and those of the expatriate American poet Ezra Pound, Frost within a year had published A Boy’s Will (1913). From this first book, such poems as ‘Storm Fear,’ ‘Mowing,’ and ‘The Tuft of Flowers’ have remained standard anthology pieces” (Britannica). Octavo, original bronzed brown cloth with upper cover title in gilt. A fine copy. RARE.
From the library of Norman MailerNew York, 1948
FIRST EDITION, MAILER’S OWN COPY. SIGNED AND INSCRIBED: “from my library / Norman Mailer” on half-title. With letter of provenance from Mailer’s nephew Peter Alson. Written when Mailer was just twenty-five, The Naked and the Dead is one of the classic novels of World War II. Both a critical and commercial success (it remained at the top of The New York Times best-seller list for eleven weeks), it launched Mailer’s career and remains one of the most influential American novels of the century. Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket; custom half-morocco box. Book fine, dust jacket a little toned at flaps, some rubbing to extremities.
Scarce Review Copy of Kerouac's On the Road in Fine ConditionNew York, 1957
FIRST EDITION, of the defining work of Beat literature. Scarce review copy, with stiff review card laid-in. “Kerouac’s literary art bore no resemblance to the undisciplined ‘beatnik’ writing of the late 1950s. His extraordinary attention to detail, astonishing memory, and encyclopedic grasp of European and American literature, popular culture, and world religions enabled him to create densely textured narratives that, when read aloud as they were meant to be, achieved an incantatory dimension rarely experienced in modern literature” (American National Biography). On the Road was Kerouac’s first work—and in fact the first work in American literature—that exemplified this “literary art”. While most critics dismissed the novel as “self-indulgent, irresponsible, or dangerous”, “it created an instant literary sensation” (ibid.). At the time of its publication, it was one of the few books that perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the post-war years and echoed it back to the rest of the country, amplified and embellished, to create something eternally contemporary. “Now more than ever, it seems, reading Paradise’s tale brings out the questing young wanderer in many a reader, no matter one’s age, gender, nationality, or predilection for all things Beat” (Holiday). Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket; custom half-morocco box. With advance review slip laid-in. Book fine, dust jacket in outstanding condition with a few flecks of rubbing; also a small patch of dampstaining visible on verso only. A superb copy with the extremely rare review card.
New York, 1957
FIRST EDITION of the defining work of the Beat generation. ADVANCE COPY, with extremely rare additional printed white dust jacket announcing the publication over regular dust jacket: “This is a copy of the first edition of ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac. It will be published in September 1957 by The Viking Press and is certain to cause violently conflicting reactions among readers and critics. We believe that readers will find truth in the book; to some this truth may be beautiful, to others it may be ugly, but no one can fail to be impressed by what this books says and the way it says it.” Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket together with review copy white dust jacket; custom cloth box. Book fine, extremely vibrant original dust jacket with light edgewear including closed tear at top right corner of front panel. Exceedingly rare advance jacket with toning to spine, some soiling, and matching closed tear at top right corner.
New York, 1992
“When you read this book, from page one you feel a threat following you, some animistic urging that keeps you going by the way McCarthy manipulates your demonic love of the sounds of speech. It’s seductive, the way shots of tequila offer the promise of danger, the way Shakespeare convinces you that even though Macbeth is up on the stage and you’re in the audience you’re thinking and feeling along with him, his bravado, his self-convincing, his descent, his death…” –Harold Augenbraum FIRST EDITION of the first novel of McCarthy’s Border Trilogy. “Winner of the 1992 National Book Award and the 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, Cormac McCarthy’s sixth novel, All The Pretty Horses, simultaneously recapitulates and transcends many of the themes, situations, structures, and characters of his earlier work…” (Arnold and Luce, Perspectives on Cormac McCarthy). New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992. Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket. A fine copy.
New York, 1965
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE. Original cloth, original dust jacket. First issue dust jacket with “1/66” code on the front flap; “Publishers of the American College Dictionary and the Modern Library” on rear flap. A superb copy.
ARTHUR MIZENER'S REVIEW COPY, WITH ANNOTATIONS BY MIZENER.Boston, 1959
ARTHUR MIZENER’S REVIEW COPY OF PHILIP ROTH’S MASTERFUL FIRST BOOK. WITH ANNOTATIONS BY MIZENER. “The real novelty of Roth’s view of American Jewish Life, circa 1959, was its absence of any sense of tragedy or oppression… Hurling themselves into the American Dream, the Patimkins live a continuous daily round of sports… and of eating–gargantuan meals, served by Carlota, the maid, that smother conversation in active digestion and extra helpings.” –Claudia Roth Pierpoint, Roth Unbound: A Writer and His Books “Professor Mizener’s best-selling biography of Fitzgerald, ”The Far Side of Paradise,” was published in 1951 by Houghton Mifflin, a decade after a heart attack ended the downward-spiraling career of the canonizer of the Jazz Age of the 1920’s.”–NY Times obituary, Feb. 15, 1988. Octavo. Original cloth, original dust jacket. Review slip laid in. Bookplate of Arthur Mizener. Neat pencil annotations by Mizener throughout. Spine toned with small chip at head and light edgewear. Custom leather box. An impressive copy. RARE.
New York, 1937
“Love is all the dirty little tricks you taught me that you probably got out of some book.” FIRST EDITION. Original cloth, original dust jacket. A very good copy; jacket bright and well preserved with light rubbing, edgewear and a patch of discoloration on verso only. A very handsome copy.
Allen Ginsberg's Howl, an exceptionally important association copySan Francisco, 1956
FIRST EDITION, one of only 100 copies, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY GINSBERG. Signed and inscribed on title: “for Michael Rumaker / Allen Ginsberg / this historic particular copy of Howl which his eyes read for / Black Mt Review #7 / Signed White Plains N.Y. / March 12, 1976”. Ginsberg also added 20 “ah”‘s along the bottom of the page. With large flower and sun drawing by Ginsberg across title. Rumaker’s ownership signature at top of page. WITH: The original issue of The Black Mountain Review #7 in which Rumaker’s review of “Howl” appears. “In October 1955 Ginsberg read the first part of his new poem [‘Howl’] in public for the first time to tumultuous applause at the Six Gallery reading in San Francisco with the local poets Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, and Philip LaMantia. Journalists were quick to herald the reading as a landmark event in American poetry, the birth of what they labeled the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who ran the City Lights Book Store and the City Lights publishing house in North Beach, sent Ginsberg a telegram echoing Ralph Waldo Emerson’s response to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: ‘I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?’ Later Ginsberg wrote that ‘in publishing ‘Howl,’ I was curious to leave behind after my generation an emotional time bomb that would continue exploding in U.S. consciousness in case our military-industrial-nationalist complex solidified into a repressive police bureaucracy’ (Original Draft Facsimile Howl, p. xii). “Early in the following year Howl and Other Poems was published with an introduction by William Carlos Williams as number four in the City Lights Pocket Poets Series. In May 1956 copies of the small black-and-white stapled paperback were seized by the San Francisco police, who arrested Ferlinghetti and Shigeyoshi Murao, his shop manager, and charged them with publishing and selling an obscene and indecent book. The American Civil Liberties Union took up the defense of Ginsberg’s poem in a highly publicized obscenity trial in San Francisco, which concluded in October 1957 when Judge Clayton Horn ruled that Howl had redeeming social value” (American National Biography). Introduction by William Carlos Williams. The Pocket Poets Series: Number Four. Small quarto, original printed wrappers; custom cloth box. Small quarto, original wrappers; custom box housing both Howl and The Black Mountain Review. A little toning to spine (as usual) and a small abrasion to rear cover. Overall an exceptionally fresh, clean beautiful copy.
Signed and inscribed by Allen GinsbergSan Francisco, 1983
SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY ALLEN GINSBERG, WITH SUNFLOWER DRAWING. A later printing of Ginsberg’s masterpiece. “In October 1955 Ginsberg read the first part of his new poem [‘Howl’] in public for the first time to tumultuous applause at the Six Gallery reading in San Francisco with the local poets Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Michael McClure, Philip Whalen, and Philip LaMantia. Journalists were quick to herald the reading as a landmark event in American poetry, the birth of what they labeled the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who ran the City Lights Book Store and the City Lights publishing house in North Beach, sent Ginsberg a telegram echoing Ralph Waldo Emerson’s response to Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass: ‘I greet you at the beginning of a great career. When do I get the manuscript?’ Later Ginsberg wrote that ‘in publishing ‘Howl,’ I was curious to leave behind after my generation an emotional time bomb that would continue exploding in U.S. consciousness in case our military-industrial-nationalist complex solidified into a repressive police bureaucracy’ (Original Draft Facsimile Howl, p. xii). Very nearly fine with only the most trivial wear to extremities.
One of the foundational texts in science fiction, signed by Hugo GernsbackBoston, 1925
SCARCE FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY GERNSBACK, of one of the foundational texts in science fiction. “In April 1911 ‘Modern Electrics’ began serializing Gernsback’s Ralph 124C 41+, written to exemplify (Gernsback’s) contention that fiction could serve to teach science… Thoroughly deficient as fiction, the story nevertheless predicts radar, microfilm and microfiche, tape recorders, television, wireless transmission of power, planet hormones, and weather control” (American National Biography). Ralph 124C 41+ was published when many other magazines were struggling, and it led Gernsback to almost single-handedly establish a place for science fiction stories, as he allowed contemporary writers space in his science magazines. The success of these stories may have induced Gernsback to create the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, which started publication the year after Ralph 124C 41+ was printed in book form. The Hugo Awards, science fiction’s most prestigious prize, were named in honor of Hugo Gernsback. Signed on the front free endpaper. Octavo, original blue cloth with gilt lettering, original dust jacket. Bookplate of Roy V. Hunt, editor and artist for the science fiction magazine The Alchemist on front pastedown. Book fine with cloth exceptionally bright; original dust jacket with some tape reinforcement at verso edges; closed tear at top of front panel and very minor edgewear. Rare signed.
Signed and inscribed by William GaddisNew York, 1955
FIRST EDITION, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY GADDIS on front free endpaper: “Martin / Cove ab homine (ut?) / unius libri (The Recognitions) / (and with every best wish.) / (ergo / (I mean, a child among / you taking notes / W. Gaddis”. “As the most important precursor of many postmodernist novels about travel or movement, The Recognitions signals a change in the function of travel in fiction that is echoed in later nonfiction about travel… Since its appearance in 1955, Gaddis’ first novel has been in and out of print, initially ignored or misunderstood but subsequently praised as a central work of contemporary American fiction” (Alison Russell, Crossing Boundaries: Postmodern Travel Literature). Original cloth, original dust jacket; custom half-morocco box. Book fine, dust jacket near-fine with very minor edgewear.
Miller's fourth novel, in the original wrappersParis, 1939
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING of Miller’s fourth novel in the original wrappers. With the scarce errata slip tipped-in; 60 Francs on the spine and front flap. Moderate expert restoration at spine head and joints. Overall a very handsome copy.
First edition of Faulkner's Intruder in the DustNew York, 1948
First edition of Faulkner’s powerful and influential novel on race relations in the American South, centered on the trial of Lucas Beauchamp, a black farmer accused of murder. Intruder in the Dust “has the disturbing emotional power that [Faulkner] can generate at his best” ––Edmund Wilson Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket. Book fine; bright dust jacket with slightest edgewear; small spot on rear panel. A lovely copy.
A Fine CopyNew York, 1938
FIRST EDITION of Hemingway’s most comprehesive collection of short stories, published with The Fifth Column, Hemingway’s only full-length play. “Five years after publishing Winner Take Nothing (1933), he collected the three separate volumes of stories and added to them a handful of other pieces– four stories written after 1933: “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1936), “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber (1936), “The Capital of the World” (1936), and “Old Man at the Bridge” (1937); one early story previously bypassed for commercial publication, “Up in Michigan” (1923, Three Stories and Ten Poems); and The Fifth Column, a play set in Civil-War Spain- to make up The Fifth Column and The First Forty-Nine Stories (1938), the only collective gathering of his stories to appear during his lifetime” (Bendixen, A Companion to the American Short Story). Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket; custom box. Book near fine, dust jacket bright and clean with only trivial wear. An excellent copy.
“It was not well to drive men into final corners; at those moments they could all develop teeth and claws.”New York, 1895
FIRST EDITION, first issue of one of the most influential works of American literature. The Red Badge of Courage, Crane’s “most popular work, and the classic American treatment of the Civil War… interprets military experience through the perspective of an untried volunteer who receives his wound-badge while fleeing from a battle but eventually proves himself by fighting bravely. The book was so convincing that a Union colonel said he recalled serving with Crane at Antietam. The epic sweep of the novel arises in part from Crane’s ability to convey a common soldier’s rite of passage from fear to confidence. It also arises from Crane’s ability to blend a variety of literary modes, including irony, the mock-heroic, comedy, and the grotesque. Crane’s strikingly original use of colors, partly inspired by Goethe and already on display in Maggie, became a trademark, as did his penchant for offbeat insights and arresting turns of phrase. The autumn 1895 publication of The Red Badge of Courage in the United States and England brought Crane international fame as the book went into fourteen printings within the year” (American National Biography). BAL 4071. Octavo, original buckram stamped in red, black, and gilt; early custom box. Book with foxing to cloth edges and toning to spine. Text exceptionally clean. With Appleton ads in rear.