New York: New Directions Books, 1951. First Edition. McCullers adapted her 1946 novel of the same name for the Broadway production directed by Harold Clurman; it opened on January 5, 1950, at the Empire Theatre, where it ran for 501 performances. The cast included Ethel Waters, Julie Harris, and Brandon deWilde, who made his debut at 7 years-old. The play won the Donaldson Award and the New York Drama Critics' Prize for Best American Play of the 1950 season. An exceptionally well-preserved copy with interesting provenance. Carson and husband Reeves, re-married at this point for seven tumultuous years, were on their way to Europe; 20 months after this book was inscribed, Reeves died of an overdose of sleeping pills in their Paris apartment, after trying to convince Carson to commit suicide with him. Item #2800
First Printing. Octavo (21cm); tan cloth, with titles stamped in maroon on spine; yellowish-brown topstain; dustjacket; [x],118; illustrated frontispiece. Inscribed by the author (in ink) on the front endpaper: "For Emily Stewart / with best wishes / Carson McCullers." Beneath the inscription is the recipient's holograph (in pencil) account of the events which led to her meeting McCullers: "I bought this book on board the S.S. Constitution in March, 1952. I then discerned that Carson McCullers was on board the ship and asked her to autograph it. She was partially crippled, and very peculiar looking & acting. She and her husband were on their way to Vienna, where, as he remarked "they could live much cheaper than in New York." Emily Stewart." Recipient's armorial bookplate mounted to front pastedown, with faint offset front glue onto front endpaper; hint of sunning to upper board edges, else very Near Fine. Dustjacket is price-clipped, gently spine-sunned, with a single closed tear to upper edge, and a few faint splash marks to spine panel; Very Good+ or better, with the spine lettering unfaded.