New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1970. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's black cloth over orange cloth-covered boards, spine gilt, upper board decoratively blindstamped, black endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
"I was raised to believe that what came in on the next roll would always be better than what went out on the last. I no longer believe that, but I am telling you how it was." First edition of Didion's second novel, about Maria Wyeth – an actress and model living in Los Angeles – and her descent into madness. Late 1960s Hollywood, women's rights, motherhood, alcoholism, and the ennui that shaped an entire generation coalesce to form a grisly portrait of a woman struggling to find purpose in an arena not fully her own. Written in the terse plainspoken prose that has defined her as a literary icon for her generation, Play It As It Lays remains one of Didion's finest works of fiction. Didion adapted the novel, with her husband the scriptwriter John Gregory Dunne, into a screenplay, with the 1972 film directed by Frank Perry (The Swimmer, Diary of a Mad Housewife) and starring Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins. Stated first printing to copyright page. Unclipped dust jacket with sunning to spine panel and minor creasing to upper flap, else fine. Item #2239