11 October 2002
BALDWIN, James. Giovanni's Room. New York: The Dial Press, 1956.
8o. Original black cloth-backed boards; pictorial dust jacket. Provenance: William Cole (presentation inscription; his note on front pastedown).
FIRST EDITION, advance review copy, with review slip laid in. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY BALDWIN TO WILLIAM COLE on the front free endpaper: "For Bill--With much affection. And God bless you for your confidence. Your friend. Jimmy." And with Cole's note on the front pastedown dated Dec. 1993: "In 1953, at Knopf, I was the first to read & recommend publication of Go Tell It On the Mountain. Jimmy became a close friend, & remained so until his death. A great man & a great companion! William Cole." Cole was publicist for Go Tell It On the Mountain while at Knopf.
As evident in the letters to Edward Parone included in the previous lot, Giovanni's Room contained controversial subject matter. Despite the fears of some of Baldwin's would-be publishers, Giovanni's Room was issued by The Dial Press and brought Baldwin international acclaim for its open tratment of racial and sexual identity.
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