15 August, 2015

Open Secrets

BY Alice Munro
Book Information1/1/1/CA/MS/1994/o.30,000  •  250x161x31  •  600  •  Nobel'13  •  GGA'94(F)

"Open Secrets" was published on September 24, 1994 by McClelland and Stewart's Douglas Gibson Books. The jacket design is Jenny Munro's (Alice's daughter) "Colette". The book was finalist to the 1994 Governor General's Award won by Rudy Wiebe's "A Discovery of Strangers". 

I don't usually collect unverifiable signed first edition but this book is an exception. On its full title page is an unverified hologram of Alice Munro "To Strachan" with "Best Wishes", and an additional insert, "I couldn't have done it without you". Inscriptions are more difficult to forge than standalone signatures, and this inscription, if authentic, makes the book quite a special presentation copy to a person whom Munro considered important to her. My speculation is Pat Strachan, an acclaimed book editor, who mentioned that a career disappointment was the failure to sign Munro and "The Beggar Maid" whilst at FSG. Thacker* also suggested that Pat Strachan was one of the people "who mattered to [Munro] and to whom she is grateful", for Munro wrote a blurb for Edna O'Brien's "The Fanatic Heart" at Strachan's request (Pat Strachan to Alice Munro, December 5, 1984: 396/87.3:1.66^). If this does check out one day, then I would have a very special first edition. Fingers crossed.


This is the first Canadian edition first printing with first state dust jacket that is unclipped, reflecting the correct price of $28.99. The book is bound in cream board with black lettering, and has no topstain. The copyright page should have a complete number line: "1 2 3 4 5  98 97 96 95 94". This was the first appearance of a number line in Munro's Canadian first editions.

This book is not particularly rare and a VG copy can be purchased at eBay or abebooks at about $50. This is a VG+ copy with a VG+ dust jacket that suffers from some curlings at the flaps and a NF book that is tight and clean. 
There are no official signed first editions but you can find signed copies of this edition. Munro's signature is rather simple, so caveat emptor.

* Thacker, Robert. (2011). Alice Munro: Writing Her Lives, A Biography. Random House.
^ Alice Munro Fonds at the University of Calgary


















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