New York: The Author, .
Unbound. Unbound photomechanically reproduced manuscript pages. 491 leaves, printed on rectos only. The title page has a modest stain, otherwise the pages are fine. Housed in a worn paper box with a note "J.B.'s Book" on the back. Several small corrections (typos, spelling) in the text in an unknown hand. There are many significant differences between this manuscript and the final published version, including different chapter headings, rewritten passages, name changes (to protect the innocent and avoid lawsuits), exclusion of some anecdotes, and differing accounts of the same event.
Inscribed by Berendt on the title page to the sister of his very close friend Bruce Kelly, a landscape architect who was responsible for redesigning several parts of New York's Central Park, most notably Strawberry Fields: "For Phyllis Kennedy – With great affection. You read this manuscript before it turned into a book, and the main reason it DID become a book was the suggestions and encouragement of Bruce Kelly, your brother & my great good friend. All the best John Berendt. New York 12/13/99.” In 1985 Berendt and Bruce Kelly co-edited, with others, *Rebuilding Central Park: A Management and Restoration Plan*. Reportedly, Kelly knew the Jim Williams story from his Georgia-resident sister, to whom this is inscribed, and suggested to Berendt that it would make an interesting story. Kelly died in 1993 at the age of 44, the year before Berendt’s bestseller was published. Berendt wrote an essay about Kelly for the book *Loss Within Loss*, edited by Edmund White, which commemorated the lives of artists, writers, and other creative people who died of AIDS. The splendid nonfiction account of a celebrated crime in Savannah, Georgia, in which the author manages to capture the feel and character of the city and its residents. The basis for the 1997 Clint Eastwood-directed film with John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, and Jude Law.