"BEAUTIFUL, INNOVATIVE, AND FULL OF THE JOY OF ONE UNCONQUERABLE SOUL": FIRST EDITION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ARTIST FAITH RINGGOLD'S AWARD-WINNING FIRST CHILDREN'S BOOK, TAR BEACH, INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION BY HER
RINGGOLD, Faith. Tar Beach. New York: Crown, (1991). Tall quarto, original pictorial laminated paper boards, original dust jacket. $850.
First edition of Ringgold's debut children's book, named a 1992 Caldecott Honor Book, and winner of the 1992 Coretta Scott King Book Award, boldly inscribed in silver ink by her in the year of publication, "All the best Faith Ringgold March 1, 1991," featuring over 20 "bold vibrant" illustrations from her paintings—"the triumphant soaring of imagination over reality."
Tar Beach was inspired by Ringgold's original artwork of the same name—a story quilt that hangs in the Guggenheim Museum. Here the Harlem-born artist unites "the traditional association between flying and the escape of slaves to freedom with her own fantasies as a child who delighted in the sense of liberation and empowerment she felt on a rooftop from which she saw stars twinkling among the lights of nearby George Washington Bridge. Ringgold has fashioned a poignant fictional story about 8-year-old Cassie, who dreams that she can claim the bridge (and freedom and wealth) by soaring above the city… the triumphant soaring of imagination over reality is beautifully expressed in Ringgold's bold, vibrant paintings." Tar Beach is "beautiful, innovative, and full of the joy of one unconquerable soul" (Kirkus). Based on paintings created for this book, her illustrations "are exuberant and richly colored, sophisticated versions of what a child herself might paint… there's an air of triumph, not the downfall of Icarus but perhaps the swooping power of the eagle or the phoenix… in her vision" (New York Times). Tar Beach was named a 1992 Caldecott Honor Book, and won the 1992 Coretta Scott King Book Award, as well as The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Award. First edition, first printing: issued simultaneously in pictorial laminated boards (this copy), and in a library binding. With over 20 full- and double-page illustrations, including full-page illustration of Ringgold's original story quilt.
A fine inscribed copy.