“AS NEAR TO AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY AS I WILL EVER WRITE”: VERY SCARCE FIRST EDITION OF WE THE LIVING, AYN RAND’S FIRST NOVEL, PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION COPY INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION TO HER LITERARY AGENT, MARY VIRGINIA INLOES
RAND, Ayn. We the Living. New York: Macmillan, 1936. Octavo, original beige cloth. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
Scarce first edition of Rand’s first novel, one of only 3000 copies printed, inscribed by the author in the year of publication: “To Mary Virginia Inloes—with the very best wishes of the author. Ayn Rand. June 17, 1936.”
We The Living, Rand’s first novel, was first published in April 1936 in a very small edition of 3000 copies It details the heroine’s struggle for individualism under Soviet communism and is the most autobiographical of Rand’s novels, published ten years after she fled the Soviet Union for the United States. When the work was re-issued in 1959, Rand noted in the book’s forward that “for those readers who have expressed a personal curiousity about me, I want to say that We the Living is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write.” Without scarce original dust jacket. Perinn A1a. Inloes was a Hollywood literary agent, representing Rand’s play Night of January 16th, which ran on Broadway from September 1935 through April 1936. In a letter to Inloes dated June 18, 1936, one day after the inscription in this copy, Rand wrote: “I have just sent you a copy of my book, for I certainly do not want you to wait for it at a lending library… I am quite happy and proud about the book, much more so that about the unfortunate Night of January 16th. Speaking of Night, I must report that it is doing very well in summer stock. There are several companies doing it now and many more planned. The London production is tentatively scheduled for September. I understand also that a road tour of the big cities is planned for this fall” (Berliner, 31).
Interior fine; light soiling to boards and light toning to spine. An extremely good copy, scarce inscribed and with such exceptional provenance.