"STRANGE AND FRESH AND HILARIOUS"
PORTIS, Charles. The Dog of the South. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979. Octavo, original half ivory cloth, original dust jacket. $400.
First edition of the third novel by Portis—"possibly the nation's best unknown writer"—a handsome copy in the original dust jacket.
To author Donna Tartt, his "pitch was pure… pick up any novel by Portis and open it to any page and you will find something so devastatingly strange and fresh and hilarious that you will want to run into the next room and read it aloud to somebody… I've loved his work all my life—Dog of the South is a family favorite" (New York Times). At his death in early 2020 Portis, best known for True Grit (1968), "left us with five impeccable novels" (New Yorker). "Possibly the nation's best unknown writer… Portis evokes an eccentric, absurd world with a completely straight face… in one way or another the subtext of all these novels is the great Melvillean theme of the American weakness for secret conspiracies and arcane knowledge, and our embrace of con men, scam artists and flimflammers of every sort" (New York Times). Critic Ron Rosembaum calls Portis "perhaps the most original, indescribable sui generis talent overlooked by literary culture in America… [he] captures the secret soul of 20th-century America with the clarity, the melancholy, and the laughter with which Gogol captured the soul of 19th-century Russia in Dead Souls'" (Esquire). "First Edition" stated on copyright page; price of $8.95 on dust jacket front flap. Small circular inked mark to fore-edge.
Only faint foxing to cloth, as often. About-fine.