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Ingalls, Rachel : Mrs. Caliban
Faber & Faber, London, England, 1982
First Edition / First Printing. Fine in Fine Dust Jacket. 125 pages. The author's breakthrough third novel. One of the greatest novels of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the American Gambit Press and Harvard Common Press Editions (which are both lovely in their own right). Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Both the green cloth boards and green-dominant DJ design are in keeping with the novel, which should be the case with ALL book designs, but isn't necessarily so. Presents Rachel Ingalls' "Mrs. Caliban". Her masterly novella-length novel: Shakespearean-inspired fable ("The Tempest") meets Hollywood suspense-thriller to form a singular, seamless whole. While not a doctrinaire feminist at all, Ingalls does have a feminist sensibility: When he dreams, Man reaches for the heights and searches for life elsewhere in outer space. Mrs. Caliban, Woman, plumbs the depths of the sea, and there she finds the erotic and romantic answer to her deepest needs, in the green, tender, loving creature-being, who makes his earthling counterpart wholly inadequate indeed. If "Binstead's Safari", her follow-up novel, underscores our connection as human beings to the animal kingdom, "Mrs. Caliban" imagines a sea-mammal as more humane than his human male counterpart. The novel received the ultimate accolade any writer could hope for: From another great writer, one of Ingalls' most ardent reader/admirers in America: "I loved 'Mrs. Caliban'. So deft and austere in its prose, so drolly casual in its fantasy. But opening up into a deep female sadness that makes us stare. An impeccable parable, beautifully written from first paragraph to last" (John Updike). Rachel Ingalls is THE bewildering, eternal recluse among great late-modern writers in English. She has never made a public appearance in her fifty-odd-year career as a published writer, and her publishing history is as bewildering as her tales. For devoted reader/collectors, the rules of thumb are fairly simple: a) All of her books first appeared in the United Kingdom, where she has lived since 1964; b) All of them have been issued subsequently in the United States, sometimes under altogether different titles; and c) the American Editions remain eminently collectible, particularly for completists, because she has been served well by her publishers here in terms of both content and production values. One of the greatest storyteller-writers of our time, she is a latter-day Isak Dinesen whose theme is the sublime mystery of human existence. Once started, it is impossible to put down a Rachel Ingalls book. An absolute "must-have" title for Rachel Ingalls collectors. This title is a great book. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: This is a copy of the true first. Precedes both the American Gambit Press and Harvard Common Press Editions. Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A scarce copy thus. Rachel Ingalls' "Mrs. Caliban" is widely regarded as one of the greatest novels in the English language of the 20th century. One of the finest American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER RACHEL INGALLS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0571118267.
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