“ONE OF THE ‘GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS OF AMERICAN WRITING THIS CENTURY”: SCARCE FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF CALL IT SLEEP, 1963
ROTH, Henry. Call It Sleep. London: Michael Joseph, (1963). Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. $750.
First English edition of Roth’s poignant Depression-era novel.
Written over a span of four years, Call It Sleep went largely unnoticed in its initial 1934 release. In 1956, however, noted critics Alfred Kazin and Leslie Fielder both mentioned Roth’s novel in discussing unfairly ignored American writing, and by 1964 a new paperback edition of Call It Sleep was a national bestseller, praised in the New York Times Book Review by Irving Howe as a brilliant, dreamlike work that “evokes with relentless accuracy the gigantic fears, extreme attachments and dreadful misconceptions of childhood… Call It Sleep… has been described as one of the ‘greatest achievements of American writing this century” (Parker & Kermode, 181). This scarce London edition appeared one year before the 1964 American paperback re-issue.
Book fine, very lightest edge-wear to bright, about-fine dust jacket.