Fly By Night

Maurice SENDAK   |   Randall JARRELL

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Item#: 123721 price:$950.00

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JARRELL, Randall. Fly by Night. Pictures by Maurice Sendak. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, (1976). Slim octavo, original gray cloth, original dust jacket. $950.

First edition of this unusual children's story, inscribed by Sendak in the year of publication to a close friend and neighbor: "For Andrew who is my very good friend. Maurice Sendak Jan. '78."

"Sensitive and intriguing books by one of America's leading poets… Jarrell is sought after… none of [his books are] easy to come by" (Connolly, 165). At the time of his death in 1965, poet Randall Jarrell left an unpublished children's tale, Fly by Night, told in a unique combined style of prose and poetry. His colleague, author-illustrator Maurice Sendak, with whom Jarrell created The Bat-Poet and the Newbery Award-winning The Animal Family, designed the dreamlike, wondrous drawings for the story (DAB). Hanrahan A95. The former owner of this inscribed book was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. Andrew first encountered Sendak in 1975 during one of his daily dog walks. (Sendak owned many dogs throughout his life, and they often starred in his books.) Andrew was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, Andrew called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. Andrew and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the Andrew's mother, Betty, as well as Andrew's brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with Andrew and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Andrew's mother, Betty, was an avid reader and collector and she and Sendak would talk late into the night about books. Sendak offered Betty advice about how to find and authenticate rare children's books, which she used to build her collection. Additionally, he frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing featuring the cake). The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections.

Book about-fine, dust jacket near-fine, with sunning to spine and only slightest rubbing to extremities. A handsome inscribed copy.

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