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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: Typed Letter Signed by KENNEDY, John F.

Typed Letter Signed

One page typed letter dated 16 March 1950 on Kennedy's Congress of the United... more>>

Cover Image: A Very Long Tail: A Folding Book by CARLE, Eric

A Very Long Tail: A Folding Book

First edition. Printed paper over cardstock folded accordion-style. Fine in a... more>>

Cover Image: Quaint Stories of Samurais by IBARA, Saikaku

Quaint Stories of Samurais

First edition. Translated from the Old Original by Ken Sato. Printed... more>>

Cover Image: Bronze by JOHNSON, Georgia Douglas

Bronze

First edition. Introduction by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois. Boards slightly splayed,... more>>

3D Rotating Books

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Book Awards

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

WINNERS IN STOCK

Nobel Prize for Literature

Cover Image: Watt by BECKETT, Samuel

Watt

National Book Award - Fiction

Cover Image: Rabbit Run by UPDIKE, John

Rabbit Run

Nobel Prize for Literature

Cover Image: The Cocktail Party by ELIOT, T.S.

The Cocktail Party

Nobel Prize for Literature

Image coming soon.

Intruder in the Dust

BTC News

The latest news and info from BTC.

This Week...

This week in literary history.

1452 Around 1450, the German goldsmith and inventor Johannes Gutenberg began preparing his 42 line Bible, the first book printed with movable type. The first copies were probably not ready for distribution until 1454 or 1455. However, relatively recently, and without any basis in fact, the date of September 30, 1452 has been ascribed as the publication date of this important book. This mythological date may have been selected because September 30 is the feast day of St. Jerome, translator of the Vulgate, and because the Revised Standard Version [RSV] of the Bible was published in 1952, making September 30, 1952 a convenient date to proclaim the 500th anniversary of printing, even if it wasn't exactly true.

1810 English novelist and short-story writer Elizabeth Gaskell, whose works included Mary Barton, North and South, and Wives and Daughters, was born in London on September 29, 1810. She was also the first biographer of Charlotte Bronte.

1862 Juvenile series mastermind Edward Stratemeyer, who created such series as the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the Bobbsey Twins, was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on October 4, 1862.

1873 The French novelist Emile Gavoriau, best known as the father of the roman policier ("detective novel"), died in 1873 on October 1, 1873, at approximately 50 years of age.

1879 American poet Wallace Stevens, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his Collected Poems was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on October 2, 1879. Stevens also won the National Book Award twice, in 1951 and 1955.

1880 Damon Runyon, best remembered for his stories in exaggerated slang which were collected in Guys and Dolls, was born in Manhattan, Kansas on October 4, 1880. Never shy of exaggeration, he later claimed his birth year as 1884 so that he could further claim that he was the youngest soldier in the Spanish-American War.

1882 Specimen Days & Collect by Walt Whitman was published on October 1, 1882.

1892 Playwright Elmer Rice, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Street Scene, was born in New York City on September 28, 1892. His first published work, On Trial (1914), was the first play to employ "flashbacks" on stage - he borrowed the technique from the silent movies had seen.

1900 Thomas Wolfe, author of Look Homeward, Angel, Of Time and the River, and the posthumously published You Can't Go Home Again, was born in Asheville, North Carolina on October 3, 1900.

1904 English novelist Graham Greene, whose many noted works included Stamboul Train, Brighton Rock, The Power and the Glory, The Third Man, and The Quiet American, was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire on October 2, 1904.

1906 British professor of English literature John I.M. Stewart, also known as mystery author Michael Innes, creator of John Appleby of Scotland Yard, was born in Edinburgh on September 30, 1906.

1911 Irish novelist, playwright, and journalist Flann O'Brien, author of At Swim-Two Birds, was born in Strabane, County Tyrone on October 5, 1911.

1921 English musician Robert Bruce Montgomery, who scored many British films, was born in Chesterham Bois, Buckinghamshire on October 2, 1921. Under the pseudonym Edmund Crispin he also wrote many mysteries, including Beware the Trains.

1924 Author Truman Capote, whose many well-known works included Other Voices, Other Rooms, The Grass Harp, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and In Cold Blood, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 30, 1924.

1925 Writer Gore Vidal, whose many novels include Williwaw, The City and the Pillar, Lincoln, and Myra Breckenridge, and whose plays include Visit to a Small Planet and The Best Man, was born in West Point, New York on October 3, 1925.

1925 In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway's third book and first to be published in the United States, was released on October 5, 1925. It was a revised and much-enlarged version of in our time (note the lower case title), a Parisian publication from the previous year.

1934 Film scholar and Edgar Award-winning mystery author Stuart M. Kaminsky, was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 29, 1934.

1946 Vietnam veteran, journalist, and novelist Tim O'Brien, whose works include If I Die in the Combat Zone, The Things They Carried and the National Book Award-winning Going After Cacciato, was born in Austin, Minnesota on October 1, 1946.

1967 Carson McCullers, whose first novel The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter was published when she was just 23, died in Nyack, New York on September 29, 1967 of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 50.

1973 The poet W.H. Auden died in Vienna at age 66 on September 29, 1973.

1974 Confessional poet Anne Sexton, whose third poetry collection, Live or Die, won the Pulitzer Prize, committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in Weston, Massachusetts on October 4, 1974 at age 45.

1985 E.B. White, acclaimed for both his essays and such children's classics as Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little died in North Brooklin, Maine on October 1, 1985 at age 86.

1987 Science-fiction author Alfred Bester, whose 1953 novel The Demolished Man, a police procedural set in the future, won the first Hugo Award, died on September 30, 1987 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania at age 73.

1987 French playwright Jean Anouilh, whose works include Traveller without Luggage and Becket, died in Lausanne, Switzerland on October 3, 1987 at the age of 77.

1988 Macabre cartoonist Charles Addams, best known for the creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky (but of course humorous) family he drew frequently for The New Yorker was died in New York City on September 29, 1988 at age 76. He was cremated and his ashes buried in the pet cemetery of his estate, "The Swamp."

1988 English poet and critic Sacheverell Sitwell, known for his books on art, architecture, and travel, and for being the younger brother of poets and essayists Edith Sitwell and Osbert Sitwell, died near Towcester, Northamptonshire on October 1, 1988 at age 90.

1990 Australian novelist, playwright, and Nobel laureate Patrick White, author of The Tree of Man, Voss, and Riders in the Chariot, died in Sydney, Australia on September 30, 1990 at age 78.

1998 Robert Lewis Taylor, author of A Journey to Matecumbe and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Travels of Jamie McPheeters, died in Southbury, Connecticut on September 30, 1998, a week after his 86th birthday.

1999 Mystery author Suzanne Blanc, author of The Green Stone, died on October 5, 1999. She was approximately 84 years old.

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