New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1950. First Edition. The author's first novel, written between 1947-48 in Queens where he lived with his mother and father. The present copies belonged to poet Jackson Mac Low. Laid into the advance copy is a TLS from the publishers addressed to "Miss Maclow" (the painter Iris Lezak, who Mac Low would later marry), dated two months prior to publication with contents somewhat prophetic in nature: "Dear Miss Maclow: Here is your preview of THE TOWN AND THE CITY, which we shall publish on March 2. This is a big, new novel by John Kerouac--a name you have never before heard--one of the most exciting new talents to come to American readers since Thomas Wolfe." A superb, early letter, presumably sent to Mac Low for a favorable review, and a wonderful association between two of the 20th century's prominent poets. Provenance: Through the trade, from the estate of Jackson Mac Low. Charters A1a. Item #2113
First Printing, one of 10,500 copies. Octavo; red cloth, with titling and rule stamped in gilt on spine and front cover; dark gray topstain; dustjacket; [viii],499,pp. Base of spine gently nudged, 1cm closed tear to cloth at crown, with two faint, shallow bumps to upper board edges; Very Good+. Dustjacket is supplied, unclipped (priced $3.50), lightly worn at spine ends and extremitites, with several short tears and attendant creases; unrestored, Very Good+ example. Offered together with the publishers advance review copy: Octavo; salmon wrappers, with titles printed in black on front cover; 499, pp. Gentle sunning to spine, faint stain to front wrapper, with a few small splash marks to rear and a 1.5cm closed tear to upper front joint; Very Good+. Together with a one-page typed publicity letter from the publishers, with the rubber-stamped signatures of Eugene Reynal, Edward A. Hodge, and Robert Giroux at lower margin. Two old folds, with faint toning along same; Very Good+ or better.