All Kinds of Books from Between The Covers
Half, according to its cover, "...is the story of Steven... Born with life's most awful abnormality, openly taunted by his friends, secretly despised by his father, shamed by his own body..." Evidently, the story's protagonist was a hermaphrodite, possessing both male and female sex organs. I have not read the book so this observation may not be fair, but this was probably not a work of great literature. The stated author is "Jordan Park," but this was a pseudonym for C.M. Kornbluth. Perhaps Kornbluth had reason for not wanting to associate his name with this work. Item 142. $150.
Time to return to something more weighty. Phillis Wheatley was a young African girl, captured into slavery in Senegal at the age of seven and brought to America. She was sold to John and Susanna Wheatley of Boston, probably among the most beneficent of slave owners. They educated Phillis (named for the slave ship on which she arrived), and encouraged her to write. The youngster proved to be a prodigy, mastering such fields as Latin, western culture, and Christianity. She surprised all by proving to be a remarkably talented poet. She was unable to find a publisher for her work in Boston, but against all odds, she found a sympathetic supporter to publish her poems in London. The result was this book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral...published in 1773, which became very popular. It was an amazing achievement considering the level of discrimination she faced. The Wheatleys freed her that year, and in 1776 she appeared before General George Washington. She was a strong believer in the revolutionary cause, and saw Americans as a potentially heroic people, held back by the "disgrace" of slavery. Sadly, after the death of the Wheatleys, Phillis married a free Black man who was unsuccessful in business, and she died in poverty at the age of 31, never to publish again. Her book is item 346. $38,500.
Item 541 is a puzzling one for me: The Gay Cookbook, by Chef Lou Rand Hogan. This is an early reprint of this cookbook from 1965, and one of the earlier uses of the word "gay" to refer to homosexual. What I find puzzling is a gay cookbook. What would sexual orientation have to do with the way you cook your food? Am I missing something here? $150.
In 1928, Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote a book about Alfred E. Smith, entitled The Happy Warrior. Smith was a fellow New Yorker, who preceded Roosevelt in that state's governor's mansion. Roosevelt was promoting his comrade, who ran for president that year. Smith lost badly to Herbert Hoover, but what none of the parties could have imagined at the time is that four years later, this author would himself be elected president, sweeping the same Mr. Hoover from office. Item 509. $200.
You can find all of the works in this catalogue and more on the Between The Covers Rare Books website, www.betweenthecovers.com. Their phone number is 856-665-2284.