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    Raymond Chandler. The Big Sleep. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1939. First edition, signed by the author on the front free endpaper with the note: "With kindest regards." Donald A. Yates's copy with his ownership signature in ink. Octavo (7.375 x 5 inches; 187 x 127 mm.). [1, blank], [1, publisher's ad], [2, half-title leaf (verso blank)], [2, title-leaf (copyright on verso)], [1, disclaimer], [1, blank], 277, [1, note on the type], [2, blank] pages. Publisher's orange smooth V-cloth, spine and front board stamped and lettered in dark grayish blue, publisher's device stamped in dark grayish blue on rear board; top edge of the text block stained dark blue, others trimmed; plain endpapers; in a supplied dust jacket (appropriate and in remarkable condition), priced $2.00. Spine very slightly leaning with a very shallow ridge down the center; backstrip just barely dulled; spine ends and corners very lightly rubbed, bottom corner of the front board softly bumped with a tiny tear to the cloth, board partially exposed; bottom of the board edges very lightly rubbed. Top stain still vivid but for a small area toward the bound edge; two tiny splashes to the fore-edge of the text; the text is very clean with only a hint of marginal tanning but absolutely no brittleness; single short closed tear of less than one-quarter of one inch to the fore-edge of the leaf containing pages 251-252; very few instances of trivial spot-soiling to the margins; endpapers lightly discolored from the binder's glue, along the hinges and upper edges; more so on the rear endpapers, which are slightly darker and have an additional narrow vertical strip of browning as well as a thin line of spot soiling; light speckled staining to both free endpapers, just in the corners of the front and in light, thin horizontal stretches at the edges of the rear. Still, a beautiful near fine copy with only minor flaws. Dust jacket exceptional, with a soft crease down the spine panel, a hint of rubbing at the panel folds, a single tiny closed tear to the top of front panel and a touch of rubbing to the rear panel, with March 1939 written in pencil on the verso; very nearly fine. Altogether, a stunning copy of an edition seldom found signed; Rare Book Hub lists just three previous records, one of which was a second printing. The author's first novel and the introduction of Philip Marlowe. Basis for the 1946 Howard Hawks noir staple of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, with a screenplay co-written by William Faulkner. Bruccoli A1.1.a; The Dark Page 62; a Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone. From the Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction.

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    Donald A. Yates was a Michigan State professor who published translations of Jorge-Luis Borges and other Latin American authors; he apparently also had an interest in mystery literature and was one of the few people to develop a friendship with Cornell Woolrich, see his copy of The Bride Wore Black in lot 45--- as well as his Farewell, My Lovely in 45---..

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    Additional Location Info:
    Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion2 East 79th StreetNew York, NY 10075

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