“ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL WRITERS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY"
MAILER, Norman. Barbary Shore. New York: Rinehart, (1951). Octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jacket. $1200.
First edition of Mailer’s controversial first novel after Naked and the Dead, inscribed, “To Pat, for auld lang syne, warmly Norman.”
With Barbary Coast, Norman Mailer's much anticipated second novel, he firmly established himself as "the combative, controversial and often outspoken novelist," who would ultimately preside "over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation." To Alfred Kazin, Barbary Shore was Mailer's declaration that he "was not interested in being an 'acceptable novelist'" (New York Times). Published at the beginning of a decade defined by McCarthyism and the Cold War, the novel was seen by many as a disappointment. To other critics it proclaimed a surreal, if reckless, approach to the political novel. Still others saw Barbary Shore as a work that possessed "a much smoother technical performance than Naked and the Dead, which was often crude and stumbling in its writing" (Commentary). Admired or disdained, Barbary Coast nevertheless marks a key turning point in the tumultuous career of "one of the most powerful writers of the 20th century" (New Yorker). With Rinehart "R" encircled on copyright page. With red-and-black dust jacket; also issued in green-and-black, no priority established.
Text fine, front inner paper hinge expertly reinforced, light edge-wear to boards; some chipping, light tape reinforcement to verso of dust jacket. An extremely good copy, scarce inscribed.