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Private Press

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1 Christopher Isherwood A Single Man
London and Cambridge, UK The Land Press and the Rampant Lions Press 1980 LImited Edition Decorated Cloth Fine 
No. 59 of limited edition signed by Isherwood. The limitation was set at 400 but in actually only 119 copies were issued, according to the records of James Brockman, the designer of the binding. A beautiful production overall, with paper made specially for the project (Hayle from Barcham Green), and an abstract design etched in gilt on the blue cloth. This design is suggestive of interior dislocation, which economically captures the esprit of the novel, as evident even in the opening paragraphs. First published in 1964, the novel was daring at the time in its portrayal of a middle aged gay man dealing with the death of a partner and the farrago of emotions, anxieties, concerns running through his head in one 24 hour period. Full of humor, biting and gentle, keen observations, ideas, this is far more, though, than a "gay" novel, for it beautifully and credibly captures a life with a frankness and directness seldom encountered in a novel, whether traditional or experimental in structure, this being one that has elements of both. It also stands out as a superb Los Angeles novel. Not just does it take place there, or in Santa Monica, but it imparts a real sense of the place, and by this implicitly how it is different from other places, without heavy-handedness or pat stereotyping. The result is a real tour de force, which is surely why Isherwood considered it his best work, and this private press edition issued sixteen years after its first issue honors what is a breakthrough work is it deserves. This copy is as attractive now as it was the day it was first issued. 
Price: 2500.00 USD
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