|Our offerings focus on interesting American and British first editions from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, mostly fiction but some history, travel, and art when we run across a compelling book.|
Interested in finding an unusual first edition as a gift, or for your own collection? Here are some to consider. You can buy one by calling us at 212 289 2345 or through the website ABE.com by simply clicking on the title displayed below.
The novel is set at the time of the Indian Mutiny of 1857-58. Farrell describes brilliantly the astonishing reactions of the besieged British community as the siege slowly brings about unimaginable tribulations. “Suspense and subtlety, humour and horror, the near-neighbourliness of heroism and insanity,” is the description from the Times of London. A book you will never regret reading. Farrell’s fifth novel, the Siege of Krishnapur won the 1973 Booker Prize.
London: Harcourt Brace, 1973. First edition. A fine copy in tan cloth with bright gilt spine lettering and crimson endpapers in a fine pictorial dustwrapper featuring the British flag.
No one writes more lovingly of French cuisine and its accompanying culture than Liebling, the legendary New Yorker writer. This was his last book, a wonderful account of his education in French cuisine during 1926 and 1927, when American expatriates like Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein ruled café life in Paris. A native New Yorker who had gone abroad to study, Liebling shunned his coursework and applied himself instead to the fine art of eating in all the great cafés on the Left Bank. This is a wonderful read.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1962. First edition. A fine copy in tan cloth with brown spine lettering red topstain in a fine dustwrapper.
William Faulkner gathered together his best hunting stories, including the original version of “The Bear,” “The Old People,” “A Bear Hunt” and “Race at Morning.” In addition, he incorporated parts of “Delta Autumn,” “A Justice,” “Mississippi” and “Red Leaves” into various italicized preludes and interludes. The result is a splendid and exciting book for any outdoors man or woman.
New York: Random House, 1955. First Edition Thus. A fine copy in green cloth with gilt and black lettering on the spine and front panel and with a light green topstain to the text block in a near-fine dustwrapper designed by Edward Shenton with slight tanning to the rear panel and a couple of tiny, random chips. Shenton has also provided illustrations within the text.
McCann’s towering novel of the struggles of people from different walks of life coping with New York City in the Seventies. The young Irish writer frames his story around two events: the sensational real-life feat of the Twin Towers tightrope walk of Philippe Petit 110 stories up, performed in 1974, and a fictional courtroom trial of a New York City prostitute.
New York: Random House, 2009. First edition. An As-new copy, unread, in white boards with gilt spine lettering in an As-new dustwrapper, illustrated with Philippe Petit tightrope walking between the Twin Towers. Promotional material from the publisher is laid in. Winner of the 2009 National Book Award and the 2011 Dublin IMPAC Literary Award. The author has signed this copy on the title page.
This strange novel takes place at the time of death of Abraham Lincoln’s son, William Wallace Lincoln, and addresses the president’s grief at his loss. The setting of the novel is mostly in the bardo, a Buddhist concept of indeterminant space between life and rebirth. The story takes place over the course of a single evening. Lincoln, who is known to have visited his son’s grave several times, is the focal point of this unusual book, which recently won the 2017 Man Booker Prize among several literary honors. Saunders is best-known for his short stories, reporting, and essays, including CivilWarLand in Bad Decline and Tenth of December.
New York: Random House, 2017. First edition. An As-new copy in black and gray boards with gilt spine lettering in an As-new pictorial dustwrapper. The book is unread and without discernible flaws. The author has signed on the title page.
Ephron was a New York marvel–witty, inventive, a great writer and a great friend to the cognoscenti. She wrote the screenplay for the romantic comedy classic When Harry Met Sally. Later, she wrote and directed Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail and Julie & Julia. Heartburn is a sidesplitting novel about the breakup of the perfect marriage, complete with all the usual trimmings– adultery, revenge, group therapy, and pot roast. Ephron was married to, and later divorced from, journalist Carl Bernstein, chronicler of the Watergate scandal.
New York: Knopf, 1983. First edition, second printing before publication. An As-new, unread copy in quarter-backed tan cloth and cream-colored boards in an As-new pictorial dustwrapper with Ephron’s portrait on the back cover. Ephron has signed this copy and added a little cartoon on the title page.
Dahl is one of the leading figures in the world of children’s literature. His books are known for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. Dahl is best known for his stories James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and Fantastic Mr Fox. Danny The Champion of the World is his popular story about a boy and his dad and a daring, hilarious pheasant-snatching expedition.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975. First edition. An immaculate copy in quarter-backed maroon cloth and orange boards with gilt spine lettering, a design in blind on the front panel, and with purple topstain, in an equally fine pictorial dustwrapper featuring a boy and his father on the front panel with a charming photograph of Dahl, his wife the actress Patricia Neal, and their children on the rear panel.
Reporting Back: Notes on Journalism, Lillian Ross | Signed, $100
Lillian Ross, who died recently at the age of 99, was a distinguished New Yorker journalist for six decades. She wrote on a wide variety of subject for the magazine as well as writing Picture (about John Huston’s anguished effort to make a great film of The Red Badge of Courage), and Portrait of Hemingway. The two were selected as among the best works of 20th century journalism. In Reporting Back, she discusses what makes a good reporter and what makes good journalism. Ross was the long-time mistress of William Shawn, the legendary New Yorker editor, a fact she revealed in a book about their 40-year relationship which came out near the end of her life and startled the literary community.
Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint 2002, First edition. An As-new copy in black and gray boards with silver spine lettering in an As-new dustwrapper with a photograph of the author on the front panel. She has signed this copy on the title page.
Twenty-eight of Fitzgerald’s stories, including such gems as “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz,” “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” and “Babylon Revisited.” Only 7510 copies were issued. Fitzgerald’s long-time champion, the editor and poet Malcolm Cowley, wrote the introduction.
New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1951. First Edition. A near-fine copy in black cloth with gilt spine lettering and with light foxing to the endpapers and text block. This is a first issue with Malcolm misspelled “Malcom” on the spine. The dustwrapper is near-fine with light rubbing.
This is Morrison’s second novel, the story of a young black girl named Sula, who matures into a strong and determined woman in the face of adversity and the distrust, even hatred, of her by the black community in which she lives.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. Reprint. A fine copy in red cloth with gilt lettering on the spine and front panel in a fine, pictorial dustwrapper. There are no marks or inscriptions in this pristine copy, part of the fifteenth printing. Toni Morrison signed this copy on the title page.
City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, Elmore Leonard | Signed, $125
Elmore Leonard long ago earned a place as one of America’s premier crime writers, right up there with John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, and Robert Parker. His home was Detroit, a good fit for his crime-writing skills considering its troubles Long before his stories moved to other locales, Leonard was writing memorable tales such as this one about a good cop in the Motor City contending with a psychopathic, thrill-killing “Oklahoma Wildman” who knocks off judges with impunity. This book is a keeper for collectors of crime classics.
New York: Arbor House, 1980. First edition. A fine copy in quarter-backed gray cloth and blue boards , square and tight, in a near-fine dustwrapper with several small creases and a tiny closed tear on the front panel. Leonard has signed this copy on the title page.
The recent Ken Burns’ televised series on the Vietnamese conflict has brought renewed attention to America’s unhappy excursion in Asia. O’Brien has created in this novel a collection of related stories about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War.
The Things They Carried was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and won the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger. It is widely regarded as one of the most significant works to come out of the war. One of the stories, “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” was made into a film in 1998, starring Kiefer Sutherland, titled “A Soldier’s Sweetheart.”
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. First edition; Second Printing. A fine copy in black boards with crimson endpapers and gilt spine lettering in a fine first-state dustwrapper with the usual off-center spine printing. O’Brien has signed this copy on the title page.
Richard Fariña was a notable figure in the Sixties folk scene, performing with his wife, Mimi (the sister of Joan Baez), at the Newport Folk Festival and releasing three well-known Vantage recordings. His first book, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to ME, received great reviews as a comic picaresque rendition of the Fifties scene. This book, his second, brings together the best of his shorter writings — stores, poems, essays and song lyrics. Two days after it was published, Fariña died in a motorcycle accident in California.
New York: Random House, 1969. First edition.A fine copy in black cloth with silver and gilt lettering on the spine and front panel and with red topstain in a fine, pictorial dustwrapper featuring a highly stylized portrait of Fariña by Eric Von Schmidt.
My Absolute Darling, Gabriel Tallent | Signed, $100
The New York Literary scene is abuzz with this hot new novel. A mesmerizing tale of a 14-year-old girl trying to grow up in the most dire of circumstances, largely as a result of a father who fits right into the list of Ten Worst Dads. The book is framed by incredible writing about nature but the action is all resulting from the level of horror in a father/child relationship. Highly regarded by critics and a sure bet for some prizes before the year is over. Critics mention Lolita sometimes when discussing this book.
New York: Riverhead Books, 2017. First edition. A fine copy in green and black boards with copper gilt lettering on the spine and front panel in a fine pictorial dustwrapper. Tallent has signed this copy on the title page.
Watson’s famous book relates the exciting and painful drama surrounding the discovery of the structure of DNA with all the extraordinary personalities, conflicts and controversy that accompanied this truly amazing research. The Modern Library ranked this among the 100 best non-fiction books.Watson has gone on to an important–and controversial–career in science. In 1962, he, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins won the Nobel Prize for their discovery.
London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1968. First British edition. A fine copy in mauve cloth with gilt spine lettering and decoration, and with black and white illustrations. A near-fine, bright dustwrapper with minute curling at the top and bottom edges.
Doting, Henry Green | $100
Although not well-known in the U. S., Green (whose real name was Henry Vincent Yorke) was one of Britain’s most beguiling 20th century novelists, a contemporary of Anthony Powell (whom he met at Eton) and Evelyn Waugh. Doting, told mostly in dialogue, is about a man, his wife, and the repercussions of their agreement to live semi-independent lives. The Hogarth dustwrapper designed by Lynton Lamb is superb. Green stopped writing at the age of 47 because “I find it so exhausting now I simply can’t do it any more.” He lived another 21 years. The dialogue he created was unique.
London: Hogarth Press, 1952. First edition. A very good copy of Green’s last novel in green cloth with a little edgewear at the extremities and slight tanning to the endpapers in a near-fine pictorial dustwrapper with a tiny loss of material at the spine ends, else fine. The Hogarth dustwrapper designed by Lynton Lamb is superb.