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Cover Image: The Playboy of the Western World by SYNGE, John M.

The Playboy of the Western World

First edition, trade issue (there was also a limited edition of 25 copies).... more>>

Cover Image: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by WILLIAMS, Tennessee

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

First edition. Fine in near fine dustwrapper with very light wear. Pulitzer... more>>

Cover Image: Artemis to Actaeon by WHARTON, Edith

Artemis to Actaeon

First edition. Bookplate removed from the front fly else a lovely, fine copy,... more>>

Cover Image: Interview with the Vampire by RICE, Anne

Interview with the Vampire

First edition. Fine in fine dustwrapper with a couple of minute scuffs to the... more>>

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This Week...

This week in literary history.

8 The Roman poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus, better known to us today as Horace, died in Rome on November 27, 8 B.C. at age 56. Having no heirs, he left his farm to his friend, the Emperor Augustus (like HE really needed it?).

1713 Anglo-Irish novelist Laurence Sterne, author of the early, sprawling, experimental novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, was born in Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland on November 24, 1713.

1757 One-of-a-kind poet and artist William Blake, whose self-printed books included Songs of Innocence and Jerusalem, was born in London on November 28, 1757.

1809 British actress and author Frances Anne Kemble was born in London on November 27, 1809. Her American husband, Pierce Butler, inherited plantations and several hundred slaves after their marriage, but she was appalled by slavery and disagreements about it contributed to the couple's eventual divorce in 1849. Her experience provided the material for her 1863 book Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839. She also published plays, poetry, and translations of other authors, and was the grandmother of novelist Owen Wister.

1819 Victorian novelist Mary Ann Evans, better known by her pen name George Eliot, was born in Warwickshire, England on November 22, 1819. Her works included Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, and Silas Marner.

1849 Frances Hodgson Burnett, American playwright and author of several excellent children's books including Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, and The Secret Garden, was born in Manchester, England on November 24, 1849.

1859 Washington Irving, often referred to as "the first American man of letters" and still read today for his stories "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle," died in Tarrytown, New York at age 76 on November 28, 1859.

1869 French author and Nobel laureate Andre Gide, whose works included The Immoralist, If It Die, and The Counterfeiters, was born in Paris on November 22, 1869.

1874 Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd was published on November 23, 1874.

1895 French playwright Alexandre Dumas, best known for Camille, on which the Verdi opera was based, died in Marly-le-Roi at age 71 on November 27, 1895. Called Dumas fils, he is not to be confused with his identically named father, creator of The Three Musketeers.

1899 Prolific author and screenwriter W.R. Burnett was born in Springfield, Ohio on November 25, 1899. Among his best known novels were Little Caesar, High Sierra, and The Asphalt Jungle.

1907 Prolific science-fiction and fantasy author L. Sprague de Camp, among whose numerous works were Lest Darkness Fall (an early and influential alternate history novel) and Rogue Queen (the third book in his Viagens Interplanetarias series, which was important in the history of science fiction for breaking the genre's taboo on sexual themes), was born in New York City on November 27, 1907. During World War II, de Camp worked at the Philadelphia Naval Yard with fellow authors Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein.

1908 Mystery writer Harry Kemelman, famous for his Rabbi David Small series, was born in Boston, Massachusetts on November 24, 1908.

1909 James Agee, film critic and author of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and A Death in the Family, was born in Knoxville, Tennessee on November 27, 1909.

1916 Jack London, author of such classics as Call of the Wild and White Fang, died in Glen Ellen, California, at age 40 on November 22, 1916, either from uremic poisoning, or from an overdose (accidental or deliberate) of the morphine he was taking to alleviate the pain.

1917 Australian novelist Jon Cleary, whose works include Sundowners, The High Commissioner, and Peter's Pence, was born in Sydney on November 22, 1917.

1922 Political activist and IRA member Erskine Childers was executed by firing squad in Dublin during the Anglo-Irish War on November 24, 1922 at the age of 52. His son went on the become the President of the Republic of Ireland, and his grandson held several important United Nations positions. As an author Childers is remembered for his espionage novel The Riddle of the Sands.

1922 Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 26, 1922.

1925 Author, columnist, ex-CIA operative, founder of the National Review, and spokesman for all things Right, William F. Buckley was born in New York City on November 24, 1925. The scion of oil barons, Buckley's most lasting contribution to American letters may be his son, the satirical novelist Christopher Buckley.

1931 Children's book illustrator Ed Young, author/illustrator of the Caldecott Medal-winning book Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China, was born in Tianjin, China on November 28, 1931. When he was three his family moved to Shanghai, and in 1951 he came to the United States to study art.

1948 British author A.E.W. Mason, best known for his classic adventure novel The Four Feathers, died in London at age 83 on November 22, 1948.

1950 Controversial novelist and Nobel laureate Johannes Jensen, considered the father of Danish modernism, died in Copenhagen at age 77 on November 25, 1950. Among his most notable works are The Fall of the King and The Long Journey.

1953 Playwright and Nobel laureate Eugene O'Neill died in Boston at age 65 on November 27, 1953 from advanced Parkinson's disease, which had plagued the last decade of his life. Among the many great works by this celebrated dramatist were Mourning Becomes Electra, Strange Interlude, The Iceman Cometh, and the autobiographical, posthumously produced Long Day's Journey Into Night.

1953 British novelist and short story writer T.F. Powys, author of Unclay and Mr. Weston's Good Wine, died on November 27, 1953 in Mappowder, Dorset at age 77. His literary family included his ancestor, the poet William Cowper, as well as his novelist brothers John Cowper Powys and Llewelyn Powys.

1960 Children's book author Kevin Henkes, who won a Caldecott Medal for his 2005 book Kitten's First Full Moon, was born on November 27, 1960 in Racine, Wisconsin.

1961 Arundhati Roy, who won the Booker Prize for her first novel The God of Small Things, was born in Assam, India on November 24, 1961.

1963 President and occasional author John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Prior to his presidency he wrote Why England Slept, As We Remember Joe, and Profiles in Courage.

1963 British author C.S. Lewis died in Oxford on November 22, 1963, a week before his 65th birthday. He is known to a wide variety of readers for his witty Christian apologetics (such as The Screwtape Letters), his science-fiction allegories (beginning with Out of the Silent Planet), and his enduring children's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia.

1963 English novelist Aldous Huxley, author of Antic Hay, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan, and most notably Brave New World among many others, died in Los Angeles at age 69 on November 22, 1963.

1968 American novelist Upton Sinclair died in Bound Brook, New Jersey on November 25, 1968 at age 90. During the Second World War and afterwards his "World's End" series, following the adventures of his antifascist hero Lanny Budd, was extremely successful. Some questioned the literary merit of these popular novels, but the third in the series, Dragon's Teeth, won the Pulitzer Prize and George Bernard Shaw suggested future readers could use them to properly understand the 20th Century. His best known work, however, is his 1906 proletarian novel, The Jungle, the quintessential muckraking fiction. Sinclair hoped to expose abusive labor conditions, but the public was more interested in the unsanitary conditions of the Chicago stockyards and as a result the Food and Drug Act was passed.

1970 On November 25, 1970 Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima, whose works included Confessions of a Mask, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, took control of a military office in downtown Tokyo with four militant students, then committed suicide by seppuku.

1970 Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn, author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, The Cancer Ward, and The Gulag Archipelago was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on November 27, 1970, but he was unable to attend because he feared that if he left the Soviet Union he would not be able to return home. He was deported from his homeland four years later, and did not return to Russia until 1994.

1976 Andre Malraux, author of La Condition Humaine [Man's Fate], died at age 75 in Creteil, France on November 23, 1976.

1986 On November 26, 1986 The New Yorker published Susan Sontag's short story "The Way We Live Now," a key text of the AIDS epidemic.

1990 Welsh novelist Roald Dahl, best known for such children's classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, died of leukemia in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, at the age of 74 on November 23, 1990.

1990 Playwright and novelist Dodie Smith, author of I Capture the Castle and the children's classic The Hundred and One Dalmatians, died in Uttlesford, Essex, England at age 94 on November 24, 1990.

1993 English novelist and critic Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange and Enderby Outside, died of lung cancer in London at age 76 on November 22, 1993.

1999 Children's book author Elizabeth Janet Gray, who won a Newbery Award for her 1943 book Adam of the Road, died on November 27, 1999 at age 97. In addition to her writing, she was also a librarian and teacher, most famously as the private tutor of Japan's Emperor Akihoto when he was young.

2000 British novelist and critic Malcolm Bradbury, best known for his 1959 satirical first novel, Eating People Is Wrong, died on November 27, 2000 in Norwich at age 68.

2006 Mystery writer William Diehl, author of Sharkey's Machine and Primal Fear, died on November 24, 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia at age 81. He started his first novel when he was 50 - he was serving as a juror and, bored by proceedings, he began to write fiction on a notepad.

2006 African-American novelist Bebe Moore Campbell died of brain cancer in Los Angeles, California on November 27, 2006 at age 56.



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