In an effort to get more titles from our rare book collection listed and for sale online this year, CCLaP is now doing smaller descriptions and posting auctions more often. Here below is a round-up of the latest. Remember, if you're coming across this in the future and the eBay auction has ended, you can always contact us directly at cclapcenter [at] gmail.com for more on the book's current sale status, and to place an order.
Fear of Flying (1973)
By Erica Jong
First Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: It can't be denied, sex took a large lead role in even the mainstream arts in the 1970s, as first the barriers regarding obscenity laws were all shattered a decade previous, then the culture at large grew into the countercultural era it was now in. And there are few better snapshot examples of this than Erica Jong's still titillating Fear of Flying from 1973, sneakily more game-changing to the entire literary industry than you might suspect at first, because this also ushered in the age of "smart trashy" thrillers from people like Danielle Steele, which arguably morphed into the so-called "chick lit" of our own age, a 20-million-copy bestseller that had a large hand in shaping the sex-positive side of second-wave feminism. Not bad for someone who got their degree in 18th-century English literature and who had only published two books of poetry before this; but then, that's what made it such a huge hit, was by being so heartfelt and charmingly self-deprecatory (a complex fictionalizing of Jong's own youth as a confused yet sexually aggressive "with-it chick"), and it's no wonder that it got described many times in those years as the horny hippie girl's version of Portnoy's Complaint. The book that coined the idea of the "Mile High Club," as well as other sundry sayings that can't be repeated in a family-friendly atmosphere, this light book has had a weighty impact on the 40 years of popular culture that's come after it, and at its inexpensive price is a must-have for the serious collector of Postmodernist first editions.
CONDITION: Text: Very Good Minus (VG-). In general still in great shape, but with significant sunning on its top and spine. Dust jacket: Very Good Minus (VG-). In general still in very good shape, but with an unfortunate one-inch missing piece on the back flap, as well as a certain amount of sunning and small staining on its back white cover. Stated "First Edition" on copyright page; lack of additional printing notices makes this a first printing as well.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP at Ravenswood Books in Chicago, 2013.
The Prisoner of Sex (1971)
By Norman Mailer
First Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: I suppose it should come as no surprise that notorious man's-man Norman Mailer took to second-wave feminism in the countercultural years rather badly, and especially the radical form of feminism practiced by such groups as S.C.U.M.; and in the spirit of those "anything goes" times, he wrote this as a response, a vindictive yet urbane and well-spoken defense of traditional gender roles and their importance in our cultural heritage, virtually laying the blueprint for the "Iron John" so-called "men's movement" a decade later. One of many nonfiction essay collections this "New Journalist" put out in the '60s and '70s, it's a perfect acquisition for those collecting a broad sampling of the gender politics that took place in those years, as well as any fan of Mailer in particular or the countercultural age in general.
CONDITION: Text: Very Good Plus (VG+). Very similar to how the book appeared brand-new, minus just the beginnings of yellowing on the pages. Dust jacket: Very Good Minus (VG-). Still in great condition, with virtually no tears, nonetheless there is unfortunately a series of scrapes along the front and back covers, which brings its overall condition down a few ratings. As confirmed by the McBride Guide to the Identification of First Editions, a printer's mark of "T05/71" on the copyright page marks this as a first edition, first printing.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP at the Oak Park Book Fair, September 2013.
The Road to Wellville (1993)
By T.C. Boyle
First Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: A prolific contemporary author like T.C. Boyle is still putting out a new book each year like clockwork these days, and that can make it hard to determine which of his 15 novels is financially most worth collecting; but a good argument can be made for this fifth title of his, the first hugely popular book of his career and that was made into an equally popular Hollywood movie starring Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, Matthew Broderick, John Cusack and more. A notorious example of Boyle's particular blend of historical fiction, in which he takes real people and events and builds deliciously strange made-up stories around them, Wellville mostly concerns itself with the first "health craze" that swept America at the beginning of the 20th century, with our story largely taking place at the Michigan sanitarium of actual physician, cereal inventor (and all-around crazy person) John Harvey Kellogg. In reality a pretty scathing indictment of the quack-like pseudo-science fads that seize the middle-class on a regular basis, like all of Boyle's scathing indictments you'll hardly realize that you're actually being lectured to about a social issue, because of laughing so much at the same time; and although it's by no means a guarantee, it's this particular collector's opinion that Boyle will eventually be held up as one of the premiere populist authors of the late 20th and early 21st century, with this book having a good chance of being better remembered than any of the others. A fantastic inexpensive acquisition for the serious collector with the long-term view in mind.
CONDITION: Text: Very Good Plus (VG+). Nearly identical to how the book appeared brand-new, except for an owner's address embossed on the inner front endpaper. Dust jacket: Fine. Identical to how it appeared brand-new. Stated "First Viking Edition" on the copyright page; lack of additional printing notices makes this a first printing as well.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP at Ravenswood Books, 2013.