"WITH LOVE ALWAYS—MARY FRANCES (MFK FISHER)": FIRST EDITION OF NOT NOW BUT NOW, WARMLY INSCRIBED BY M.F.K. FISHER TO HER CLOSE FRIENDS, JUDITH AND BUD JOHNS
FISHER, M.F.K. Not Now but Now. New York: Viking, 1947. Octavo, original green cloth, original dust jacket. $950.
First edition of this experimental sensual novel by a culinary icon, warmly inscribed to Fisher's close friends, Judith and Bud Johns, the former of whom provided illustrations for two of her books: "Judith and Bud Johns with love always—Mary Frances (MFK Fisher) 13.VII.80."
"The tale of the wandering wanton, whose character contains no glimmer of human decency, whose driving force through successive incarnations is the lure of sex, whether used as bait to wreck the lives of a Swiss household, or to disrupt a happy below stairs kingdom, or to inject suspicion of lesbianism into a normal girl's adolescence, or to out-tart the tarts of the Gold Coast… Virtually four novellas woven together by the insidious Jennie, harlot supreme, whose spirit continues to attempt to escape and find freedom. M.F.K. Fisher has a unique gift, if one that is sybaritic, ultra-sophisticated, and for that market" (Kirkus). Parts I and IV originally appeared in Town & Country. This copy is inscribed to M.F.K. Fisher's close friends, artist Judith Spector Clancy Johns and Apple Tree Press and Synergistic Press publisher Bud Johns. Judith Johns illustrated the dust jacket for Fisher's As They Were, as well as the interior of Not a Station But a Place. "Judith [Johns] was born in New York and received her first formal art training from Moses Soyer who later used her as a model in many of his paintings… Judith Clancy's work was widely published, her drawings forming the basis for a book Last Look at the Old Met and included in Ecotopian Sketches. Her work appeared regularly in the New Yorker, Gourmet, Opera News and Architectural Digest" (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco). After Judith Johns' death, Bud Johns donated a number of items related to M.F.K. Fisher to various institutions including archival materials and a sketched portrait of Fisher by Judith Johns.
Book fine, dust jacket near-fine with only light wear to extremities. A wonderful inscribed copy with desirable provenance.