"FOR… A MOST WONDERFUL HOSTESS, A SOUTHERNER WHO MAKES YOU FEEL AT HOME": FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, OF THE DOLLMAKER, INSCRIBED BY HARRIETTE ARNOW TO A FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR
ARNOW, Harriette. The Dollmaker. New York: Macmillan, 1954. Octavo, original blue and gray cloth, original dust jacket. $3500.
First edition, presentation copy, of Arnow's National Book Award-winning novel about a family's move from Kentucky to Detroit during World War II, inscribed on the half title to a friend and fellow Ann Arbor resident: "For Kathryn Carow a most wonderful hostess a southerner who makes you feel at home. Harriette Simpson Arnow."
Called "our most unpretentious American masterpiece" by Joyce Carol Oates, this 1954 novel by Harriette Arnow uses the exploits of a WWII-era family to contrast the quiet poverty of Kentucky with the Detroit projects, ultimately revealing deep truths about America and its flaws. "With vivid insights into racial, religious and labour tensions, this is a terrifying lesson in US history—and a haunting tragedy" (The Guardian). "A masterwork… A superb book of unforgettable strength and glowing richness" (New York Times). This copy is inscribed to Kathryn Carow, the author's friend and a fellow resident of Ann Arbor. In 1950, the Arnows purchased a 40-acre farm in Ann Arbor and moved there with their two children. Carow once held an informal lunch honoring Arnow at her home (newspaper notice tipped onto the rear pastedown). Address labels and owner signature of Kathryn Carow. Captioned envelope containing newspaper clippings about Arnow tipped onto rear free endpaper.
Book with faint offsetting to inscription page, front inner paper hinge split, and a bit of wear and toning to cloth extremities. Dust jacket with edgewear and only minor foxing and soiling. An extremely good inscribed presentation copy.