London: John Lehmann, 1946. First UK Edition. Hardcover. First Impression ("First published in England 1946") of this slim, quiet masterpiece (Bellow's first book) from the Nobel prizewinning author of Herzog, Augie March, and Henderson the Rain King. Slim crown 8vo (184 x 119mm): 191,pp. Publisher's finely woven sunflower cloth, spine stamped in brown, pictorial pictorial dust jacket (price-clipped). Signed by Bellow on front fly leaf. Fine, tight (probably unread), and bright; about Fine jacket with touch of usual darkening to spine and back panels but front panel still vivid. Cronin & Hall 2. Fine / Fine-. Item #BB1323
Written in diary format, the story centers on Joseph, "a would-be writer and intellectual caught waiting for the Draft, who romantically believes that intellectual and spiritual enlightenment is to be attained by isolating himself within the confines of a room in a cheap Chicago boarding house while he studies the great writers of the Enlightenment. . . . [In it is] much of Bellow's early life as a young newlywed intellectual, immersed in literature of all kinds, poor and ambitious, isolated in his in-laws' Ravenswood apartment writing his first novel on a card table in the back room." (Literary Encyclopedia) Yet another example of the value to be found in the graphically superior designs of most UK editions of American authors's works. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).