The Inland Whale. Theodora Kroeber, Ursula K. Le Guin, Karin Wikstrom, Foreword, Illustrations.
The Inland Whale
The Inland Whale
The Inland Whale
The Inland Whale

The Inland Whale

[Covelo, California]: The Yolla Bolly Press, (1987). Wikstrom, Karin. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 94 of 135 copies, folio size (oblong), 103 pp., with prospectus, signed by Karin Wikstrom. Fine. Item #21100601

Theodora Kroeber (1887-1979) was a writer and anthropologist, best known for writing the biography of Ishi, the last member of the Yahi tribe of California, and for her retelling of narratives from Northern California Native American cultures (n. b., info from Wikipedia). "The Inland Whale" is her collection of California Native American legends, first published in 1959, and later printed in this lovely edition by The Yolla Bolly Press. The stories are filled with women, free of racial prejudice (often found in stories of Native American characters at the time), and free of masculinist prejudice; the stories move with the grace of their fully-fleshed characters. She writes in the introduction that "[w]ithin each tale is a portrait of a woman, some scarcely more than a shadowed outline, some fully revealed. . . .I have tried not to revalue, not to judge the women whose stories I tell, but to bring them to you. . .as they were seen by their peers."

Includes an introduction written by her daughter, Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018), an American fantasy and science fiction author of enormous magnitude and influence whose work examines issues such as gender and sexuality, politics, religion, and environmentalism through the lens of far-off worlds and imaginary characters and settings. Le Guin provides a perspective of Kroeber as mother and writer, homemaker and feminist, and expresses pride for her mother's literary career, only regretting that she began writing so late in her life.

Throughout the book are woodcuts by Swedish artist Karin Wikstrom (b. 1959), whose playful and evocative prints complement the elegance of the stories; her figures and scenes are hand-coloured using pochoir to add bright splashes of gouache to the woodcuts.

___DESCRIPTION: Stab binding with linen thread, natural linen over boards, paper label of a black-and-white woodcut by Karin Wikstrom on the front board, rice paper paste-downs and brown free endpapers, title page with blue lettering and a black-and-white woodcut (same as front board) with top and bottom decorative borders, woodcuts with colour pochoir by Wikstrom throughout; Rives BFK Cream paper, oblong folio size (12" by 13.75"), pagination: [i-vi] [1] 2 [3-7] 8-94 [95-97], one of 135 copies, this number 94, signed by Karin Wikstrom on the colophon. In a brown paper slipcase with a white paper spine label with blue lettering and ornaments. Still with the plain white paper used to wrap the book as issued by the publisher, with their slip of paper reading "Archive II 1987 / The Inland Whale / copy 94". Loosely laid in is the prospectus, a single sheet of heavy paper with a reproduction of one of the woodcuts and printed on one side only; also included is a letter from the Press dated September 23, 1987, notifying their customers that "only 25 copies of the original edition remain available...", this accompanied by an order form, a return envelope to the Press, and a picture of (presumably) Carolyn Robertson holding a copy of the book, open at the woodcut featured on the prospectus, standing in front of cases of type.

___CONDITION: A fine copy overall; the covers clean, the corners straight and unrubbed, the binding tight with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright, and free of prior owner markings; a small ding to the top of the slipcase which created a minute amount of creasing to the top corner of the text pages, else clean, crisp, and as new. The slipcase also fine overall, strong and sturdy, clean overall, without wear other than the aforementioned ding to the top edge of the case at the "spine". Prospectus is fine with only the original mailing fold, accompanying ephemera also fine, clean and without wear.

___POSTAGE:  Please note that this is an unusually large and heavy volume, and additional postage may apply; 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.

Price: $700.00