San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2011. Holland, Tom. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 148 of 300, octavo size, 171 pp., signed by Edward Albee and Tom Holland, with prospectus. Near fine. Item #18082703
Edward Albee (1928-2016) was an illustrious playwright whose works often examine "the modern condition", often as psychological examinations and interactions between characters within a simple setting; he received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play multiple times, and he is considered part of the Theatre of the Absurd, a movement in theatre known for absurdist and surreal situations. "A Delicate Balance" tells of an upper-middle-class couple, now retired, and the disruption of their suburban life by four unwanted houseguests, two family members and two lifelong friends. The play demonstrates the bitter relationships between the characters in typical Albee style, as ordinary settings and events reveal the deeper forces and desires within the characters; the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama when it was published in 1967.
Included also are four illustrations by Tom Holland (b. 1936), an American artist whose work utilises a myriad of materials such as aluminium, fibreglass, oil paints, copper, and clay. Recommended to the Arion Press by Edward Albee himself, Holland created watercolours for the book to represent the numerous occurrances of alcohol in the play, with fractured renderings of bottles and glasses; reminiscent of stained glass, the paintings complement the broken and distorted relationships of the characters. David Littlejohn (1937-2015), art critic, writer, and a professor emiritus of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, provides an eloquent and in-depth introduction to Albee's work and the artistry and relevence of this particular play.
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter navy leather with lilac cloth boards, full-colour reproduction of a watercolour by Tom Holland inset on the front board, silver lettering on the spine, fore- and bottom edges uncut, three reproductions of watercolours, tipped in, by Tom Holland throughout; American Garamond and Univers types, Revere paper, octavo size (9.5" by 6.5"), pagination: [1-2] 3-169  [1 colophon], one of 300 copies, this number 148, signed by Edward Albee and Tom Holland on the colophon. Loosely laid in is the prospectus, two pages each folded once, with a photograph of the book tipped in on the verso of the first page.
___CONDITION: Volume could be deemed fine, with clean boards, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; the only issue is some slight sunning to the spine, else fine. The prospectus is fine, clean, without wear.
___CITATION: Arion Press Catalogue no. 92.
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