"CONTAINS MOST OF CAPOTE'S BEST STORIES": FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST VOLUME OF HIS SHORT STORIES, TREE OF NIGHT, INSCRIBED BY CAPOTE
CAPOTE, Truman. A Tree of Night and Other Stories. New York: Random House, (1949). Octavo, original dark blue cloth, original dust jacket. $2000.
First edition of Capote’s first volume of short prose, inscribed on the title page by him, "With good wishes, Truman Capote 2/52."
This important first collection was paramount in establishing Capote's "place among important 20th-century American short story writers… Tree of Night contains most of Capote's best stories" (Werlock, Companion to Literature, 119). In a 1957 interview, when asked what he thought of his early prose, he immediately singled out three stories from Tree of Night, saying: "I prefer Children on Their Birthdays and Shut a Final Door and… Master Misery" (Paris Review). To noted author Reynolds Price, "only Chekhov comes to mind" in equaling the "sheer clarity of Capote's prose and a brilliant economy of ongoing narrative rhythm" (Introduction, Complete Stories, xiii). This core volume, published soon after his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms (1948), includes the title story, Master Misery, Children on Their Birthdays, Jug of Silver, The Headless Hawk and My Side of the Matter, along with Miriam and Shut a Final Door, both of which won O. Henry Awards. With "First Printing" on copyright page.
Book fine; lightest edge-wear, faint toning to spine of near-fine dust jacket.