New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1952. 1st Edition. Hardcover. First edition, octavo size, 232 pp. Good / fair. Item #171031099
Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964), Southern novelist and essayist, wrote only two novels; this, "Wise Blood", was the first. The first chapter is from her master's thesis at the University of Iowa, and she spent five years working with the rest of the text before she was satisfied that it was ready to release to the publisher; she was committed to the process of revision, and her novels went through many drafts before completion. "The hero of 'Wise Blood', Hazel Motes, whom O'Connor was to call 'a Christian malgré lui' in her author's note to the 1962 second edition, sets the tone for the religiously displaced types that haunt her fiction. These unlikely creatures preach strange gospels, engage in rituals of drowning-baptism and 'prayer healing' (burying morbid newspaper stories), have visions near 'hog pens' and before figures of 'artificial Negroes,' and have heads of Byzantine Christs tattooed on their backs. Despite O'Connor's Roman Catholic upbringing and her ongoing commitment to its teachings, her characters tend mainly to be fundamentalist Protestants. These were the religious types she observed most frequently during her years in and around Milledgeville." (N.B., per ANB.) Ms. O'Connor was the recipient of the 1972 National Book Award for her "Complete Stories", which in an online poll taken in 2009 was named the best book ever to have won the National Book Awards. ***DESCRIPTION: Original yellow cloth with lettering blocked to backstrip in black, in original dust jacket (correctly labeled with $3.00 to the head of the front flap), octavo size (8.25" by 5.75"), [1-8] 9-232 pp., first edition (so stated), of an edition of 3000 copies. ***CONDITION: A good copy only; it has a strong square text block with solid hinges, and is internally clean with no prior owner markings; the corners are straight (albeit somewhat rubbed), we are grading as good only due to a damp stain that worked through the book at the backstrip, causing some chipping to the head and tail of the spine; otherwise a very good copy. The dust jacket is fair to almost good, it is all in one piece with the flaps still quite bright and is not price-clipped, with the authors portrait unscathed; it does suffer from some medium to large chips at all sides, and has evidence of the same stain afflicting the book. Though still a good jacket and intact, we have priced reflecting the condition, which is overall very good. ***POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details. ***Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.