Title: JUST AS I THOUGHT - Scarce Fine Copy of The ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998
Book Condition: As New
Dust Jacket Condition: As New
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 332 pages. Published in 1998. The author's first and only collection of essays. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Grace Paley's "Just As I Thought". Gathers in one volume Grace Paley's piercingly intelligent and deeply moving pieces on her two greatest passions: Literature and politics. One of the finest collections ever to appear in our time, when the essay as an art (rather than academic-paper) form faces a bleak and beleaguered future. Grace Paley is an original, the prototypical modern American writer/essayist/political activist, who also happened to write great short stories, the one literary genre she made inimitably her own. "The Little Disturbances of Man" (1959), "Enormous Changes At The Last Minute" (1974), and "Later The Same Day" (1985) are now widely regarded as among the finest American short-story collections of the 20th century, and were reissued in one bestselling volume as "The Collected Stories of Grace Paley" in 1994. "Just As I Thought" reminds us that she also mastered the personal essay in a way that only a handful of American writers can possibly match. As an essayist, she speaks in her own voice and what a lovely voice it is: Her mettle, measure, and magnanimity are balanced by her natural, "bullshit"-detector acumen and literary finesse that are hard to find among political activist/writers. It is often asked why Paley never wrote her memoirs considering how fascinating and important her life had been. Well, she did. Her essays cumulatively add up to Paley's intellectual and personal autobiography. Grace Paley died on August 22, 2007 at the age of 85, preceding fellow writer/activist Norman Mailer by two months, both their deaths marking the end of an era. An absolute "must-have" title for Grace Paley collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed and inscribed in black pen on the title page by Grace Paley. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page or bookplate. The recipient is named. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Many copies available online have serious flaws. A scarce signed copy thus. One of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER GRACE PALEY TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0374180601. Bookseller Inventory # 14660
Synopsis: This collection of articles, reports, and talks by National Book Award finalist Grace Paley represents approximately 30 years of political and literary activity--with a couple of occasional glances over her shoulder into disappearing family and children--and comes as close to an autobiography as anything we are likely to have from this quintessentially American writer.
Review: With their loopy sense of humor, pervasive sorrow, and Lower East Side vernacular, Grace Paley's stories have earned her a permanent place in American literature. Now her publisher has collected almost three decades of essays, reviews, and lectures, which amount to cumulative, if oblique, self-portrait. "This is not an autobiographical collection," she writes in her introduction, "but it is about my life." Since Paley's life has encompassed not only literature but a long involvement in politics, there are pungent takes on the women's movement, anti-nuke protests, and Vietnam. Yet she's too hard-headed to write even a single sentence of polemical drivel; her political prose is always personal. Here, for example, she attends a Quaker sit-in at the Seabrook nuclear site: "I'm not very good at Friends meetings. My mind refuses to prevent my eyes from looking at the folks around me, and I'm often annoyed because I can't get the drift of the murmur of private witness. I did hear one young man near me say, 'May your intercession here today be the fruit of our action.' I think this means 'God helps those that help themselves,' a proverb that sounds meaner than it really is." And when it comes to literature and writing, Paley is tremendous. Her short essays on Isaac Babel and Donald Barthelme are themselves worth the price ofpurchase. In Just As I Thought, the author accomplishes exactly what she ascribes to Babel, producing "clarity, presentness, tension, and a model of how always, though with great difficulty, to proceed."
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