Three Books

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Love and Death in the American Novel by Leslie A. Fiedler. First edition hardback published by Criterion in 1960. Cover design by Sidney Feinberg. I was dismayed when I first found Fiedler—he’d arrived at his thesis—and supported it with a big fat book—decades before me. I was hipped to this by a kindly professor in graduate school, who suggested I read and then credit Fiedler. I pulled this book out to help me in an American lit course I’m teaching this fall.

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Suttree by Cormac McCarthy. First edition trade paperback published by Vintage Contemporaries. Cover design by Lorraine Louie; cover photo illustration by Marc Tauss. I’ve already written about my love of Vintage Contemporaries covers, and finding this copy of Suttree a few years ago was glorious. I’ve been rereading the novel—auditing it, really, through a superb reading by Michael Kramer. I’ve had this edition out as I go. Suttree, by the way, fits nicely neatly perfectly into Fielder’s thesis about American lit.
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Grooks by Piet Hein. Cute little pocket-sized paperback. Second-edition published by the M.I.T. Press. Cover illustration is by Hein; I can’t find a credit for the designer. I found this in the bookstore the other day when I was looking for something else in the poetry section. Hein’s grooks can be clever, but also occasionally a bit too pithy, if that makes sense. Still.

3 thoughts on “Three Books”

  1. Great covers. Do you have the 2nd edition of Fiedler’s book? According to the preface, he made a lot of changes to the text. I bought a pb copy a few months ago — cover design by Chip Kidd, from the late ’80s — such a fascinating book and thesis.

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    1. I don’t have the 2nd edition, Tom, but I’ve read that he made a lot of edits (I think one of his goals was to make the book more concise). I’ll see if I can find the Chip Kidd cover—sounds interesting.

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