Pick up two new R.A. Lafferty items in the last week:
Posts Tagged ‘Books’
Lee Israel has died. Who? She published a number of biographies, but that’s not what she’s best known for:
In the early 1990s, with her career at a standstill, she became a literary forger, composing and selling hundreds of letters that she said had been written by Edna Ferber, Dorothy Parker, Noël Coward, Lillian Hellman and others. That work, which ended with Ms. Israel’s guilty plea in federal court in 1993, was the subject of her fourth and last book, the memoir “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” published by Simon & Schuster in 2008.
The techniques of her illicit craft sound quite interesting:
In a rented storage locker on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the writer Lee Israel kept a cache of antique typewriters: Remingtons and Royals, Adlers and Olympias. Each was tenderly curated, hung with a tag whose carefully lettered names — Edna, Dorothy, Noël, Eugene O’Neill, Hellman, Bogart, Louise Brooks — hinted at the felonious intimacy for which the machines were used.
When dealers started to suspect her she switched tactics.
By dealing in typed letters, Ms. Israel was obliged to copy only the signatures. This she did by tracing over the originals, first covertly in libraries and later in her Upper West Side apartment, originals in hand. For over time, after whispers among dealers about the authenticity of her wares made composing new letters too risky, Ms. Israel had begun stealing actual letters from archives — including the New York Public Library and the libraries of Columbia, Yale, Harvard and Princeton Universities — and leaving duplicates in their place.
“She would go into these libraries and copy the letter in question, go back to her home and fake as best she could the stationery and fake the signature, and then she’d go back to the institution and make the switch,” David H. Lowenherz, a New York autograph dealer, said on Monday. “So she was actually not selling fakes: She was substituting the fakes and selling the originals.”
She was also a “feisty” alcoholic who couldn’t hold a day job.
Dead at 75.
(Hat tip: Elizabeth Hand’s Facebook page.)
Here’s the comprehensive roundup of all the books I’ve added to my professional library between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Some of these I’ve blogged about before, but not all of them. All books are Fine/Fine first edition hardbacks, unless otherwise marked.
Copies of most of the small press books from Subterranean, Hippocampus, etc. listed above will be available through the next Lame Excuse Books catalog.
Back in October, I thought I had snagged a great deal: A first edition of Philip K. Dick’s Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said for $48.
However, upon getting it, I immediately saw that it was not a first edition. There was no First Edition statement on the copyright page, and code P7 rather than code 050 on page 231, indicating a later printing, as per Levack’s PKD bibliography. So I contacted the seller for a refund.
Despite selling it on false premises, he refused to take it back, and offered an insulting $5 refund through eBay’s arbitration system.
So this is a blog post to warn anyone away from dealing with eBay seller jazzsharkman, AKA
PO Box 1800
Union City, CA 94587
due to his fundamental dishonesty in selling a non-first as a first edition, then refusing to take it back.
I’ll update this page if he ever comes to his senses and sends me a full refund.
(Dick, Philip K.) Levack, Daniel J. H. PKD: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography. Underwood/Miller, 1981. First edition hardback, one of 200 copies signed by Dick, Levack and annotator Steven Owen Godersky. A Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Bought for $299 off eBay at the Buy-It-Now price, which is less than half what it usually lists for.
I think this was the last signed edition Dick did while he was still alive. In fact, discount the numerous posthumous “cut from a check” limiteds, I think only this and Confessions of a Crap Artist were done in signed/limited editions.
A year and a half ago, I didn’t have the signed editions of any of the Levack Underwood/Miller bibliographies (Dick, Zelazny and de Camp); now I have all three.
John Picacio notes that today is Michael Moorcock’s 75th birthday. Happy birthday, Mike!
By way of celebration, I thought I would scan one of the more unusual items in my collection:
(Moorcock, Michael) Moorcock@60.com. Nomads of the Time Streams, 1999. First edition oversized trade paperback original (A4 sized), a Fine- copy (one corner bumped from bringing it with me to London to get several contributors to sign it). A festshrift miscellany celebrating Michael Moorcock on his 60th birthday put together by several of his friends, and not generally available for sale (I bought my copy from one of the contributors). This copy is signed or inscribed by Moorcock, Brian Aldiss, Nick Austin, David Langford, Kim Newman, and Howard Waldrop.
A few of these are from a mostly-disappointing book shopping jaunt around Houston the day after Thanksgiving, plus two from eBay.
I’ve never been a big Piers Anthony fan, so it might surprise some that I’m picking these up. But: A.) I have a long-term goal of picking up all the Gregg Press hardbacks, B.) I am given to understand that these (along with Macroscope and On A Pale Horse) are among his best work, and C.) They were incredibly cheap, $6 (plus bidder fee and shipping) for all three (plus a random Xanth novel) from a Heritage Auction.
See Hartwell, David G. “The GREGG PRESS Science Fiction Series 1975-1985 Complete, a Preliminary Annotated Checklist.”
These were the only volumes of the series done by Gregg Press. Volumes 4-6 were evidently done in hardcover by something called “Xlibris Corporation,” which I would guess is a Print-On-Demand publisher and lord, did they put some stupidly hideous covers on them…
In the same L. W. Currey order as the Bradbury chapbooks, I picked up two H. G. Wells first editions in dust jacket.
Wells is a bit before the time period I usually collect (post-World War II), but I like his work and he’s tremendously important in developing
Three more Ray Bradbury chapbooks from small press publisher Roy A. Squires, all bought from Lloyd Currey for $28 each.