“AMERICA’S MOST DISTINCTIVE NOVELIST”: SHERWOOD ANDERSON’S BEYOND DESIRE, WITH LAID-IN AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR
ANDERSON, Sherwood. Beyond Desire. New York: Liveright, (1932). Octavo, original tan cloth, uncut, original dust jacket. Housed in custom chemise and slipcase. $1100.
First trade edition, with laid-in typed autograph letter by Anderson to his publishers, dated August 16, 1930 and signed by Anderson.
Described by H.L. Mencken as “America’s most distinctive novelist,” Sherwood Anderson had largely abandoned the novel for more journalistic writings when he published Beyond Desire in 1932, his first novel in seven years and one of several works on labor conditions in the South. With typed letter on pale blue letterhead stationary leaf imprinted with address and officers of the Virginia-based Marion Publishing Company, purchased by Anderson in 1927 when he became editor and publisher of its two weekly newspapers, Smyth County News and the Marion Democrat. Dated August 16, 1930, the letter is addressed to Arthur Pell at Horace Liveright in New York, Anderson’s own publishers, reading, “Dear Arthur Pell:- I am sorry if there was any embarrassment about the five hundred. I suppose my original letter got lost somewhere in the mix-up. I want to assure you, Arthur, and in speaking to Horace I did not intend any reproach from any one. As a matter of fact I have been so long producing a book
it that is satisfactory to me that I would not have been surprised to find you fellows out of patience. I think perhaps I have said something of that sort to Horace. However, I have a great deal of hope now that the book on which I am at work will get itself finished for the first of the year and that it will be something that you can get back of. With sincere personal regards to you all and I assure you of my entire loyalty. Why shouldn’t I be loyal to fellows who have been loyal to me? Thank you very much for the $500.00, it will be a help. I am / As always, Sherwood Anderson.” Book preceded by signed limited edition published same year. Bruccoli & Clark II:118. Bookseller ticket.
Laid-in letter with faint horizontal and vertical creases at fold-lines, mark of staple removal to upper left corner. Light sunning to spine of about-fine book; tiny abrasion to upper spine end, one small tape repair to verso of bright near-fine dust jacket.