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Today's Highlights

The crème de la crème of our online inventory, the best rare books that belong in the best rare book collections...

Cover Image: The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore by WILLIAMS, Tennessee

The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here...

First edition, second issue (of three) with pages 19-22 tipped in and Scene two... more>>

Cover Image: The Talented Mr. Ripley by HIGHSMITH, Patricia

The Talented Mr. Ripley

First edition. Two tiny spots on the foredge, still easily fine in fine... more>>

Cover Image: Prejudices: Fourth Series by MENCKEN, H.L.

Prejudices: Fourth Series

First edition. Fine in near fine dustwrapper with a little soiling, and some... more>>

Cover Image: Collected Poems by SIMPSON, Louis

Collected Poems

First edition. Fine in fine dustwrapper. more>>

3D Rotating Books

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Book Awards

Images plus collecting tips on 100s of major award winners.


National Book Award - Fiction

Cover Image: World's Fair by DOCTOROW, E.L.

World's Fair

Nobel Prize for Literature

Cover Image: A Draft of Shadows by PAZ, Octavio

A Draft of Shadows

Nobel Prize for Literature

Cover Image: The Moon Is Down by STEINBECK, John

The Moon Is Down

Nobel Prize for Literature

Cover Image: Gideon Planish by LEWIS, Sinclair

Gideon Planish

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The latest news and info from BTC.

This Week...

This week in literary history.

1703 British naval administrator Samuel Pepys, whose lively and justly celebrated private diary continues to be read to this day, died in London at age 70. His diaries, written in a kind of shorthand, were bequeathed with the rest of his books to Cambridge University, where they sat unexamined for over a century before they were deciphered and published with much success.

1799 Honoré Balzac was born.

1803 Poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 25, 1803.

1806 Philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill was born.

1822 Edmond de Goncourt, who with his brother Jules published the Journal de Goncourt and whose estate provided for the Prix Goncourt, was born in Nancy, France.

1831 French priest and abolitionist Henri Gregoire, among whose works was An Enquiry concerning the intellectual and moral faculties, and literature of negroes, died in Paris on May 20, 1831 at age 80.

1842 Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol's comic novel which is considered the foundation of 19th Century Russian realism, was published.

1845 The poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett met (for the first time that is - afterwards they met often).

1859 Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 22, 1859.

1864 Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, and numerous classic short stories, died in Plymouth, New Hampshire on May 19, 1864 at age 59, possibly of stomach cancer.

1870 Scottish historian and author J. Storer Clouston was born on May 23, 1870.

1873 Italian humanist, poet, and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, whose 1827 novel I Promessi Sposi [The Betrothed] is a masterpiece of world literature, died in his native Milan on May 22, 1873 at age 88. Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem was written to honor his memory..

1885 French novelist Victor Hugo, known for Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, died at age 83.

1887 American poet, critic, and educator Leonard Bacon, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1940 for Sunderland Capture, was born in Solvay, New York on May 26, 1887.

1891 Swedish Nobel laureate Par Lagerkvist, who became internationally known with such novels as The Dwarf and Barabbas (which was made into a film starring Anthony Quinn in 1962), was born in Vaxjo, Sweden on May 23, 1891.

1898 Utopian author Edward Bellamy died at age 48 from tuberculosis.

1899 Belgian poet and writer Henri Michaux was born in Namur, Belgium.

1904 Mystery writer Margery Allingham was born on May 20, 1904.

1905 American writer W.M. Spackman's first novel, Heyday, was published in 1953 and followed by his second novel 25 years later in 1978, An Armful of Warm Girl. He was born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania on May 20, 1905 and was highly praised during his career by John Updike and Stanley Elkin.

1905 Nobel laureate Mikhail Sholokhov, best known for And Quiet Flows the Don was born on May 24, 1905 (in Russia, which was still using the Julian calendar, the date was May 11) in Veshenskaya, Russia.

1908 American poet, Theodore Roethke, was born on May 25, 1908 in Saginaw, Michigan. His book The Waking won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

1908 The poet Theodore Roethke was born.

1921 Science fiction writer, James Blish was born on May 23, 1921 in East Orange, New Jersey. Winner of the 1959 Hugo Award for his novel A Case of Conscience, Blish was best known for his authorized short stories based on the popular Star Trek television series.

1922 Booth Tarkington's novel Alice Adams was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction on May 21, 1922, making him the first two-time winner of the award (1919 and 1922). He sandwiched Edith Wharton's win with Age of Innocence (1921) as there was no Pulitzer Prize awarded in 1920.

1926 English novelist Ronald Firbank, whose works included Vainglory, Valmouth, and The Flower Beneath the Foot, died of lung disease in Rome, Italy at age 40.

1927 American thriller writer Robert Ludlum, author of The Scarlatti Inheritance, The Osterman Weekend, and The Bourne Identity, was born in New York City. His titles were so consistent that Salman Rushdie invented a game in which he retitled the plays of William Shakespeare in Ludlum's style, so that Hamlet would be The Elsinore Vacillation and Macbeth would become The Dunsinane Reforestation.

1932 Paul E. Erdman, author of The Billion Dollar Sure Thing, was born.

1933 Children's book author and illustrator Arnold Lobel, whose works included the Frog and Toad series, Mouse Soup, and Fables (which won the Caldecott Medal) was born in Los Angeles, California on May 22, 1933.

1935 Canadian author W.P. Kinsella, best known for the novel Shoeless Joe (which became the film Field of Dreams), was born in Edmonton, Alberta.

1938 American author Raymond Carver, master of the modern short-story, was born in Clatskanie, Oregon on May 25, 1938.

1940 Swedish poet and Nobel laureate Verner von Heidenstam died in Ovralid, Sweden at age 80.

1940 Nobel Prize-winning poet Joseph Brodsky, author of A Part of Speech and To Urania, was born in St. Petersburg (Russia, not Florida).

1941 American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, a perennial dark horse candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Duluth, Minnesota on May 24, 1941.

1948 Harlem Renaissance poet and novelist Claude McKay died in Chicago, Illinois on May 22, 1948 at age 57.

1950 Imagist poet John Gould Fletcher, whose 1938 Selected Poems won the Pulitzer Prize, committed suicide by drowning in his home town of Little Rock, Arkansas at the age of 64.

1952 Flannery O'Connor's's first novel, Wise Blood, was published on May 19, 1952.

1954 Alan Hollinghurst , whose novel The Line of Beauty won the Booker Prize, was born on May 26, 1954.

1963 Michael Chabon, author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, was born in Marlyand on May 24, 1963.

1967 African-American poet Langston Hughes died of prostate cancer in New York City at age 65.

1972 The poet Cecil Day-Lewis, who also wrote mysteries under the pseudonym Nicholas Blake, died on May 22, 1972.

1984 English poet John Betjeman died at age 77.

1996 Long-time New Yorker author Joseph Mitchell, whose books included McSorley's Wonderful Saloon and Joe Gould's Secret, died in Manhattan at age 87.

2000 Dame Barbara Cartland died in 2000 at age 98.

2002 Popular naturalist Stephen Jay Gould died.



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