Loot of the Week 12 Jan 2016
The new year gift of first editions for myself arrived today. We have three prize winners, two inscribed or signed books and a cult title.
Alice Walker's The Color Purple is an epistolary novel, published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1982, that won both the Pulitzer and National Book Award. It was adapted into a movie in 1985 by Steven Spielberg, and an adapted musical is currently playing on Broadway. Gina Berriault's Women in Their Beds, a short story collection published by Counterpoint in 1996, won the National Book Critics' Circle Award. At the lower left corner is Stanley Elkin's Mrs Ted Bliss - this is the signed first edition limited to 1,500 copies issued without a dust jacket - that was published by Hyperion in 1995. It won the National Book Critics' Circle Award.
Then there is David Foster Wallace's magnum opus, Infinite Jest that is variously described as a profound masterpiece on one hand, and a bloated work written without talent on the other. Regardless, today, it is considered Wallace's most representative and influential work. I think it is sort of a cultish novel in similar vein to Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Some day in the future, people will ask where is infinite jest the way we are still asking who is John Galt today. The book was published by Little, Brown in 1996.
We also have a copy of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men. I already have a first edition copy of this book; this one contains an additional tipped-in page, just after the flyleaf, with McCarthy's signature. It is the official publisher issued signed first edition of unknown copies and should be distinguished from the limited signed edition published by BE Trice.
Finally, we have Jennifer Egan's The Keep, published by Alfred Knopf in 2006. This is a presentation copy from Egan to another great female writer, Jane Smiley. I normally wouldn't buy unverified signed first edition, but in this case, I simply couldn't resist the allure of a beautiful inscription from one great female writer to another.