New York: Bantam Books, Inc., 1981. First edition, advance uncorrected page proofs, with accompanying ephemera. Octavo. Original mauve wrappers with publisher’s sticker to top front cover. This copy includes the original publisher’s letter and a stand-alone map of the Drinkwater family tree, each folded as initially enclosed by the publisher, together with a postcard with Lippincott artwork. Creasing to spine with minor edgewear, and faint toning to the publisher’s letter, else fine. Item #67
Proof copy of John Crowley’s (b. 1942) masterpiece, Little, Big, which influential American literary critic Harold Bloom proposed for inclusion in the Western Canon, and which has been hailed as the closest literary achievement we have to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Crowley’s Little, Big received the prestigious World Fantasy Award in 1982 and was nominated for a host of other prestigious accolades, including the Nebula Ward for Best Novel (1981), Hugo Award for Best Novel (1982), the British Science Fiction Association Award (1982), and the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1982). Little, Big traces the epic story of Smoky Barnable, an anonymous young man who travels by foot from his home in the city to an enigmatic place called Edgewood—a place not located on any map—to marry Daily Alice Drinkwater in fulfillment of a mysterious prophesy. In a tale reminiscent of Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), Little, Big tells the story of four generations of the Drinkwater family, living in a house that is many houses on the magical border of an otherworld. More than just a tale, however, Little, Big is an architectonic work of creativity, weaving history, myth, folklore, fairytale, and wonder into an unrivaled journey of the imagination. This is an advance uncorrected proof, meaning it was issued prior to the publication of the first edition in 1981. Little, Big endures as a modern masterpiece—a book that prominent science fiction author and Hugo Award winner Thomas Disch proclaimed “the best fantasy novel ever. Period,” and which fiction giant Ursula K. Le Guin predicted would redefine the fantasy genera. Enclosed are the original publisher’s letter, map of the Drinkwater family tree, and postcard with Lippincott artwork for the book. The publisher’s letter, dated March 20, 1981, from the affectionately self-titled “LITTLE, BIG Task Force,” describes the book as akin to Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude and states that “our confidence in LITTLE, BIG is boundless.” Time has proven how exceedingly well-placed that initial confidence was.