20th Century Private Presses and<br>Printing from Oak Knoll Books

20th Century Private Presses and<br>Printing from Oak Knoll Books

In 1938 the Archetype Press printed a limited edition of William Saroyan’s A Native American. A total of 450 copies were printed, and each bears Saroyan’s signature. This copy also includes a personal inscription from Saroyan to a Mrs. L.A. Bassana. Item 70. $300. Item 290, The Simple Song of Khatchik Minasian, by Minasian, was also a limited edition (300 copies) with an introduction by Saroyan. This, too, carries Saroyan’s signature along with that of the author. $150.

Those who have been struggling to increase opportunities in government for Mexican-Americans may find this title amusing: Morris L. Goodman, the First American Councilman of the City of Los Angeles. It turns out that when the first Los Angeles Council was seated, six of the seven members had been Mexican citizens prior to statehood. Item 505. $30.

In 1943, Overbrook Press, in tribute to Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, printed her Addresses Delivered Before the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States, February 18, 1943. China had been overrun by Japan and was a war ally of the United States when she spoke. At the time, she had already served 15 years as China’s “first lady.” Who could have known her life had only just begun? She would live to see victory in the war, her government’s retreat to Taiwan after the Communists gained control in 1949, her husband’s death in 1975, and all kinds of changes to her land and the world before passing away last year at the age of 105. Item 589. $45.

Item 329 is a 1990 Foolscap Press reprint of Stephen Leacock’s 1911 story The Man in Asbestos. The Canadian writer had written of a future which, according to Oak Knoll, “described…a world where the inhabitants are clad in long-wearing suits of asbestos, where death has been eliminated…” Of course, such a world has never come and never will, because we now know that we are certainly not going to eliminate death by running around in asbestos suits. $85.

Speaking of Canada, Canadian collectors will be interested in B.K. Sandwell’s Our Canada. Privately printed in Montreal in 1930, it’s a Christmas book describing the beauty of that country. Item 775. $25.

For anyone needing to place a phone call to God, the Aralia Press offers a start with The Area Code of God by R.S. Gwynn. Item 52. $40. For those with a sense of irony, there’s Old Music Master… by Young E. Allison. Item 896. $25. Or how about an answer to the question everyone is asking, Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? You’ll have to buy Lorrie Moore’s book to find out as I certainly haven’t a clue. Item 813. $80.

Oak Knoll Press may be found on the web at www.oakknoll.com or reached by phone at 302-328-7232.