SIGNED LIMITED EDITION OF THE CIRCLE GAME, ONE OF ONLY 100 COPIES SIGNED BY MARGARET ATWOOD, ADDITIONALLY INSCRIBED BY ATWOOD
ATWOOD, Margaret. The Circle Game. [Toronto, Canada]: House of Anansi, (1967). Slim octavo, original black cloth; pp. 80, original cloth slipcase. $3000.
Signed limited edition of Atwood's Governor General's Award-winning first regularly published collection of poetry, number 45 of only 100 copies signed and numbered on the half title by Margaret Atwood, additionally inscribed on the title page: "For Al McGuire with best wishes, Margaret Atwood 1974."
"Contact Press, which published The Circle Game in 1966, and its sister Contact Magazine were 'expression[s] of literary revolt…[and] a means by which new and experimental poets could find their voice' (Tracey 161). For a modern poet like Atwood, Contact Press provided the opportunity to publish their literature–one that was fresh and relevant" (History of Publishing, Simon Fraser University).While Contact Press founder Louis Dudek wanted to reject Atwood's manuscript due to its failure to reflect trends in modernism, he was overruled by others at the press who saw both its skill and its saleability. The success of The Circle Game was unprecedented. It became the first small-press book to win the prestigious Governor General's Award for Poetry. The recognition allowed Atwood to embark on new writing projects and resulted in a contract for her first novel, The Edible Woman, the book that would catapult Atwood to celebrity status. This is the first edition, second printing, of The Circle Game, preceded by the Contact Press first edition of only 250 first edition copies and 50 hardcover "Library Edition" copies. The work sold out so quickly that, by the time it won the Governor General's Award, it was already out of print, necessitating additional printings like this signed limited House of Anansi edition. Within Atwood's oeuvre, The Circle Game was preceded only a chapbook called Double Persephone in 1961 and by a limited illustrated edition of the The Circle Game's titular poem in 1964, making this her first regularly published work.