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The Devil's Hand (Lost American Fiction)

Kelley, Edith Summers

5 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0809306751 / ISBN 13: 9780809306756
Published by Southern Illinois University Press, U.S.A., 1974
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From citynightsbooks (Allston, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First printing of this edition (NAP). Tan cloth, brown titles at front and spine, red topstain. With an Afterword by Matthew J. Bruccoli and a Postscript by Patrick Kelley. A novel by the author of Weeds, another work of lost fiction. Book and DJ near fine. 301 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 14300

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Devil's Hand (Lost American Fiction)

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1974

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Thus.

About this title


This realistic second novel by the author of Weeds depicts the struggle for survival of two unmarried women in California’s Imperial Valley in the 1920s.


In her lifetime, Edith Summers Kelley had one novel published, the recently redis­covered Weeds, first published in 1923. Fifty years later this remarkable novel was republished and was, belatedly, recog­nized as a lost masterpiece,” a major work of American fiction.” Following the republication of Weeds, the manuscript for this previously unpublished novel, The Devils Hand, was found among his mother’s papers by Patrick Kelley, who has written an appended memoir.


In this second novel, according to Matthew J. Bruccoli, Edith Summers Kelley again proves herself to be a su­perior writer of realistic fiction.


The story is about fragile and dreamy, romantically unfulfilled Rhoda Malone and her stalwart and forthright friend Kate Baxter who, enjoying the emanci­pation of women after World War I, leave Philadelphia and the monotony of office jobs to become farmers. In Cali­fornia’s Imperial Valley, among Japanese, Hindus, Mexicans, and a scattering of Americans, the two women become trapped in the struggle for survival.


Like Weeds, The Devils Hand, has strength, fine emotional control, and is also an important sociological novel. Readers who hailed the rediscovery of Weeds will welcome this impressive re­covered novel.

About the Author:

Edith Summers Kelley was born in Canada in 1884. She died in California in 1956. Her son Patrick lives in California.


Matthew J. Bruccoli is Professor of Eng­lish at the University of South Carolina.

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