July 2022 Catalogue

Black Americana and Abolition – 38 – Bauman Rare Books - July 2022 First Edition Of Banana Bottom, 1933, Claude McKay’s Final Novel 63. MCKAY, Claude. Banana Bottom. New York, 1933. Octavo, original orange and white floral cloth. $3400. First edition of the final novel by Claude McKay—“one of the most prominent and militant voices for racial equality in the early years of the Harlem Renaissance” (Bader)—a splendid copy in original cloth. A central figure of the Harlem Renaissance, McKay was “an important pioneer in African American and African Caribbean intellectual, cultural and literary history” (Oxford Companion to African American Literature). Banana Bottom, published the decade before his death, is “often identified as McKay’s finest novel. It tells the story of Bita Plant, who returns to Jamaica after being educated in England and struggles to form an identity” (ANB). First edition, first printing, with code “B-H”. Without very rare dust jacket. A fine copy. Exceedingly Scarce First Edition In English Of Claude McKay’s Long Lost Volume Of Three Early Stories In Trial By Lynching 64. MCKAY, Claude. Trial by Lynching. Stories About Negro Life in North America. Mysore, India, 1977. Slim octavo, original red and white paper wrappers. $2200. First edition in English of McKay’s virtually unknown collection of three early prose works, originally issued in Russian in 1925 and unpublished in English until 1977, “key to understanding McKay’s literary and political development.” ThisvirtuallyunknownworkfirstappearedinRussianas SudomLyncha [“Trial by Lynching”] in Moscow in 1925, and was left unpublished in English until 1977, only to remain largely ignored. When the Russian edition was discovered by McKay’s biographer Cooper in the 1970s, he briefly described its three stories “in one sentence, calling them ‘slightly and overtly propagandistic, concentrating directly on the very real problems of lynchings and racial discrimination.’” Yet, to critic Marian McLeod, this notably stands as McKay’s “first experiment in prose fiction.” Scholar J.A. Zumoff furthers that, saying it is “key to understanding McKay’s literary and political development” (Zumoff, Mulattos, 22-3). Fine condition.