FIRST EDITION OF HEAVEN'S MY DESTINATION, SIGNED BY THORNTON WILDER IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION
WILDER, Thornton. Heaven's My Destination. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1935. Octavo, original beige cloth, original dust jacket. $700.
First American edition of this comedic novel about a modern-day Don Quixote, signed on the title page: "Thornton Wilder. Chicago, Jan 1935."
"In 1930, after the publication of his third novel, The Woman of Andros, Wilder had established himself as a prominent American author. However, Michael Gold, critic with The New Republic, published a scathing review [which] culminated in a literary call to arms: 'Let Mr. Wilder write a book about modern America. We predict it will reveal all his fundamental silliness and superficiality.' Whether Heaven's My Destination is a direct response to this challenge is unknown. However, with the intention of demonstrating the struggle of the American mind, 'forever alternating between ethical puritan aspiration and the busy realist vainglory,' Wilder offered his first complete survey of modern American society" (Matthew Angelo, Thornton Wilder Society). Critic Edmund Wilson called the novel, Wilder's "finest to date." Perhaps most notably, Heaven's My Destination shows Wilder exploring the minimalist, action-based style he would later put to great effect in "Our Town." Published January 2, 1935, one month after the first English edition. With Harper & Brother's "M-I" on the copyright page, indicating "December, 1934." Schumacher, 36.
Book with mild toning to interior, light foxing and toning to cloth. Price-clipped dust jacket with only slight soiling, a few closed tears, and shallow chipping to spine ends. A very good signed copy.