The Member of the Wedding
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1946.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1946. First edition. Near Fine book in VG+ jacket. Original yellow publisher's cloth binding. Faint offsetting to front and rear pastedowns. Front hinge a bit tender. Jacket bright and pleasing, unclipped with original price of $2.50 to front flap. Spine slightly sunned. Some chips along the top of the front panel and extremities of spine; rubbing to corners. Some shelfwear along the top of the rear panel. In all a pleasing copy.
Living in a communal house in Brooklyn, Carson McCullers was exposed to a world almost too literary to be true. "Paul and Jane Bowles, Gypsy Rose Lee, W.H. Auden, and Benjamin Britten all slept at the house regularly. And it was during her time there, after a boozy Thanksgiving dinner, that the spark for her third novel, The Member of the Wedding, was lit. On hearing a fire engine's siren, McCullers and Rose Lee gave chase through the streets; and McCullers had a sudden epiphany about the central concept of the book, which tells of a 12 year old girl Frankie, who is so in love with her brother Jarvis and his new wife Janice that she thinks she can join them on their honeymoon" (The Guardian). Now compared in turns with The Catcher in the Rye and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for its depiction of coming-of-age, it is a portrait of pre-teen awkwardness and self-delusion coupled with dark and serious undertones. "For all the hysterical, inconsequential misery Frankie bemoans in her life, there's a real sense of unhappiness underlying it. Her father is absent, her mother died giving birth to her, World War II is a malevolent hum in the background, and there's a reference to a mysterious boy called Barney who has shown her an 'unknown sin'" (The Guardian). Some have found much of McCullers' own loneliness and desire to belong tucked into the novel's pages; even more have found some part of themselves. Near Fine in Very Good + dust jacket. (Item #3320)