San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2011. Miles Hyman. Large octavo, 10-1/4 by 6-1/2 inches, 226 pages plus 56 unnumbered pages for the illustrations, 282 total. The text pages are printed by letterpress from Fridericus type in Monotype composition, with Winchell type handset for display, on Zerkall Book, a German mouldmade paper. The illustrations are printed by four-color offset lithography on McCoy Silk Book. The binding is full cloth with an inset panel on the front cover, with a detail of a sundial in color from the endpaper image, and a spine titling label. The edition is limited to 300 numbered copies for sale. New. Item #CNAP091
A classic of American comic fiction, "The Sundial" by Shirley Jackson (1916-1965), exemplifies her blend of humor, fantasy, and social satire. The Arion Press edition has special relevance in being illustrated by the novelist’s grandson, Miles Hyman, who brings his own understanding of the author to the characters he depicts and his selection of accompanying quotations from the novel.
One of the prominent young writers of the 1950s, who died when she was only 48, Jackson is famous for her controversial New Yorker story, "The Lottery". "The Sundial", written ten years later, is the work New Yorker critic Joseph Mitchell called her best. Here Jackson's subject is the end of the world, as it is imagined and meticulously prepared for by a privileged New England family. As Diane Johnson writes in her introduction to the Arion edition, "Its timeless quality has ensured that the pleasures of this small delicious novel have endured. Like 'Animal Farm', it has something permanently important to say about human society, in this case about fear, power, and leadership."
For "The Sundial", Miles Hyman has made fourteen double-page illustrations plus an image for the endpapers, all in full color. The illustrations appear in the middle of the sixteen-page sewing sections. On the reverse recto appears a caption, citing the chapter, giving the subject, and providing an excerpt from the book relating to the scene depicted. Miles Hyman is an American painter and illustrator living in Paris. He is the grandson of the author Shirley Jackson and brings a deep understanding of her life and work to this project.
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