FIRST EDITION OF ISLAND IN THE SUN, INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION BY ALEC WAUGH
WAUGH, Alec. Island in the Sun. London: Cassell, 1956. Octavo, original blue paper boards, original dust jacket. $450.
First edition of Alec Waugh's controversial and most famous novel, inscribed by him in the year of publication, "For Carolyn with my love, Alec Waugh, March. 1956," the basis for the 1957 film starring Harry Belafonte.
Alec Waugh, older brother of fellow writer Evelyn Waugh, is perhaps best known for this 1956 novel, an explosive "story of love, murder and political intrigue on the imaginary Caribbean island of Santa Maria," and the basis for director Robber Rossen's 1957 starring Harry Belafonte, John Fontaine, James Mason and Dorothy Dandridge (New York Times). Produced by Darryl Zanuck, it was "the first Hollywood film in which a black male lead was romantically involved with a white woman who was equally passionate for him" (Ross, Hollywood left and Right). The film was produced just as "a December 1956 revision of Hollywood's self-imposed Production Code had removed a ban on depicting miscegenation—defined as any 'sex relationship between black and white races'—and Island in the Sun was the first film to take advantage of this new freedom… Indeed the film was quite bold for time when 29 states still outlawed interracial marriages, and when polls showed that more than 90 percent of Americans opposed them… Both Waugh and Zanuck had sought to comment indirectly on American racial attitudes, and by setting the tale in a fictional British crown colony on the eve of independence, they gained greater leeway to expose American racism" (Bernardi & Green, eds. Race in American Film, 469). "First published 1956" on copyright page. Small owner notation to rear blank.
Text fresh with light scattered foxing mainly to preliminaries and edges; light toning to spine, mild foxing to dust jacket. A near-fine inscribed copy.