”As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous insect...”Leipzig, 1915
FIRST EDITION, THE PREFERRED ISSUE IN ILLUSTRATED WRAPPER. “On the evening of November 17, 1912, a young employee of the Workmen’s Accident Insurance Agency, in Prague, sat down to work on a ‘troubling little story’ that had occurred to him ‘in bed’ the previous night. After spending the first part of the day in the office, he returned to the apartment he shared with his parents and thee sisters, had lunch, napped, took a walk, and then did a series of strengthening and stretching calisthenics. This was his daily ritual before settling in for the evening – and often far into the night – to what he considered his true life, a life dedicated to writing. Then, whether acting on a long-meditated plan or following an obscure, sudden intuition, he set down the words of the first hammerlike sentence of what would become his most famous story and one of the defining works of modern imaginative fiction, The Metamorphosis…” (Mark M. Anderson, ed. The Metamorphosis). With the famous illustration by Ottomar Starke on the front wrapper. Kafka was adamant that the illustration not depict a bug, writing in a letter to the publishing house: “The insect itself must not be illustrated by a drawing. It cannot be shown at all, not even from a distance.” The Metamorphosis was one of the few works published by Kafka in his lifetime. Leipzig: Kurt Wolff, 1915. Octavo, original illustrated wrappers (dated 1916 as usual) over red paper covers; custom cloth box. A little foxing to front wrapper; text exceptionally clean and fresh. An excellent copy of one of the cornerstones of Western literature.
"A girl who had everything...until she lost her life"London, 1937
First edition superbly bound in modern morocco. She was young, stylish and beautiful. A girl who had everything…until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: “I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.” Yet in this exotic setting nothing was ever quite what it seemed. A fine copy.
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 UK EDITION, translated from the French by Beckett. “Voted the most significant English language play of the 20th century in a British Royal National Theatre poll of 800 playwrights, actors, directors and journalists… Beckett’s naked play about two tramps waiting for Godot has tapped into our 20th-century public consciousness. It seems to express our deepest fears and our deepest knowledge of ourselves and our predicament” (Norman Berlin). “The first production of Beckett’s own English translation, directed by Peter Hall, was staged at the Arts Theatre Club in London in August 1955. Kenneth Tynan’s and Harold Hobson’s reviews made it into an intellectual hit which has since been regarded as having transformed the British stage” (Dictionary of National Biography). Preceded by the first edition (1952, in French) and the first American edition (1954). Octavo, original mustard cloth, original dust jacket. Book near-fine with slight lean; dust jacket with light edgewear, toning to top of rear panel.
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.
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.
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, 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, 1975
FIRST EDITION, INITIALED BY WARHOL ON HALF-TITLE. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975. Octavo, original cloth, original dust jacket. A fine copy in a very good dust jacket (slight blistering to jacket).
New York, 1928
SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION, one of 800 copies signed by Woolf. “Virginia Woolf’s novel about Vita Sackville-West represented a turn from the kind of experimentation in life in which she could not wholly let herself go to the kind of venture in art where she could be wholeheartedly involved” (Ralph Freedman, Virginia Woolf: Revaluation and Continuity, A Collection of Essays). Orlando came as a great departure from Woolf’s other novels—less carefully written, and “in some ways foolish—a novelist’s holiday rather than a novel” (ibid.). It was, indeed, less of a novel, than “the longest and most charming love letter in literature” (Nigel Nicholson). Precedes the first UK edition. Krikpatrick A11a. Signed on verso of half-title. Octavo, original elaborately gilt-decorated cloth; custom cloth box. Fading to cloth (about an inch in from the edges on the front board, less on rear) and fraying to edges. A very good 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.
FIRST EDITION of the tenth book in the James Bond series. Octavo. Original cloth, original dust jacket. Book near-fine, leaning very slightly; with elegant bookplate on front pastedown. Dust jacket unusually bright with very light toning; very trivial traces of wear. A lovely copy.
New York, 1962
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING of what is considered to be Dick’s finest work and winner of the 1963 Hugo Award. A beautiful copy in the original dust jacket.First printing with D36 of page 239. Pringle, Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels, 37. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Book with slight bump at heel of spine and a hint of edgewear to dust jacket. A beautiful, bright 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.
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY LOWRY TO MONTGOMERY EVANS on the front free endpaper: To Montgomery Evans / from Malcolm Lowry-33 / Inglewood / Caldy Westkirby / Wirral / Cheshire. Provenance: Library of Roger Rechler (lot 203); Montgomery Evans (presentation inscription and bookplate).
Signed by Samuel BeckettParis, 1966
First French edition, SIGNED BY BECKETT on title page; one of only 112 copies printed on “bouffant select marques” and reserved for the publishers. A collection of six short plays, translated from English by Beckett. Octavo, original printed wrappers; glassine. Unopened. A FINE COPY.
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.
Signed by W.B. Yeats, 1/1000 copiesLondon, 1922
SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION of Yeats’s autobiographical work; one of only 1000 copies signed by Yeats. “Looking back from 1922, [Yeats] titled his autobiographical account of the decade of the 1890s The Trembling of the Veil. He recalled that Mallarme has said that ‘his epoch was troubled by the trembling of the veil of the Temple,’ and that ‘as those words were still true, during the years of my life described in this book,’ he had named it accordingly” (The Cambridge Companion to W.B. Yeats). Octavo, original half parchment over light green boards; original dust jacket. Dust jacket spine with light wear at the spine (slightly affecting label) and minor toning. A FINE COPY in the scarce original dust jacket.
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.
New York, 1957
“Hope faded as his radius of vision grew and the screen remained empty. Again and again he called into the lonely silence, while grief and helplessness strove for the mastery of his soul.” FIRST EDITION, review copy. In a departure from Arthur C. Clarke’s usual medium of outer space, The Deep Range is a novel of the sea, and shows off Clarke’s “impressive talents as astronomer, deep-sea naturalist, and novelist” (from the dust jacket). Octavo, original green boards, original dust jacket. With review slip tabbed in. Book fine, light edgewear to dust jacket.
FIRST EDITION of Celine’s highly influential first novel. ”‘Journey,’ published in 1932, burst like a bombshell on the Parisian literary scene, garnering huge sales and almost winning the Prix Goncourt… [The] novel is a furious attempt to place one man’s consciousness at the epicenter of a world that is exploding under the centripetal influences of capitalism, imperialism, consumerism and licentiousness. In this, Céline anticipates the essentially apolitical rodomontades of the American Beats, quite as much as he belongs with the excruciating Marxian posturing of the interwar French existentialists and Surrealists… ”If Ulysses is the great modernist novel most inspired by a desire for humanistic inclusion, then Voyage is its antithesis: a stream of misanthropic consciousness, almost unrelieved by any warmth or fellow-feeling” (Will Self, “Céline’s Dark Journey”). Octavo, original wrappers; custom cloth box. With ads in rear. A few creases to spine and a few spots of soiling. A beautiful copy of a fragile book.
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.
Signed by Maurice SendakNew York, 1981
FIRST EDITION OF SENDAK’S THIRD BOOK, SIGNED AND INSCRIBED BY SENDAK. Gilt lettered red cloth, original dust jacket ($12.95 on front flap). Outside Over There is Sendak’s story of Ida, a pre-adolescent girl who must contend with sibling jealousy, new responsibilities and goblins who kidnap her young sister. A splendid copy, with Sendak’s enchanting illustrations.
“It’s just that I’d rather die of drink than of thirst.”London , 1961
FIRST EDITION of the ninth book in the James Bond series, in colorful “skeleton” dust jacket designed by Richard Chopping. Octavo, original black cloth with blind-stamped skeletal hand, original dust jacket. Book fine, small bookseller sticker at lower front paste down, dust jacket light toning at spine, small closed tear at spine head, small residue on back cover. A bright and 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.
FIRST EDITION of Woolf’s most experimental novel. With original dust jacket designed by Vanessa Bell. “Part of Virginia Woolf’s greatness lay in her continuation of Henry James’s aim to define the novel as a form of art. She fulfills its inherent flexibility when she blends the novel with other genres to create new forms… Her most formally inventive fiction, The Waves appears to owe its inspiration more to poetry and drama than the novel… Woolf freely manipulated conventional elements of fiction… in a concerted attempt to take the novel beyond its customary compass” (Dictionary of National Biography; Eric Warner, Virginia Woolf, The Waves). Octavo, original purple cloth, original dust jacket. Book fine, dust jacket with a hint of toning to spine and a slight bit of edgewear. A beautiful copy, rare in such fine condition.
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.