New York: Boni & Liveright, 1925. 1st US Edition. Octavo, publisher's black cloth, spine and upper board gilt, original printed dust jacket. Housed in custom half-morocco clamshell box.
"'Tell us about the French women, Hank. What are they like?'" First US, and first expanded, edition of Hemingway's first full collection of short stories. Hemingway's lasting contribution to literature arguably rests on his innovations in the short story – terse, elliptical, with more going on beneath the surface than above – with the 15 stories gathered here among his best and most influential, including "Indian Camp," "The End of Something," "Mr. and Mrs. Elliot," "Cat In the Rain," and "Big Two-Hearted River" Parts I & II: "Nick looked down into the pool from the bridge. It was a hot day. A kingfisher flew up the stream. It was a long time since Nick had looked into a stream and seen trout.... Nick's heart tightened as the trout moved. He felt all the old feeling." The collection was originally published in an extremely limited edition by a small Parisian press in 1924, and was comprised solely of a series of prose poems meditating on the human costs of the First World War; upon publication, Hemingway was free to offer the work to a mainstream publisher, which he did in a significantly expanded form, with the inclusion of the 15 stories here, constituting the meat of Hemingway's fully formed style on the bones of the those earlier vignettes: stories of expatriates in postwar Europe, sporting life in the wilderness of upper Michigan, and the hard life lessons Hemingway gleaned as a boy accompanying his physician-father on his rural rounds. Early reviews – real-time encounters with the earliest polished examples of Hemingway's revolutionary style – were ecstatic, which Horace Liveright, the publisher of this first US edition, leveraged to canny effect by printing blurbs directly on the front and rear panels of the exceptionally scarce dust jacket, with contemporary heavyweights John Dos Pasos, Ford Madox Ford and Sherwood Anderson among others chiming in. One of roughly 1300 copies. Hanneman A3a. Book fine; minor chipping to spine-head and tips of flap folds of unclipped dust jacket, with one small closed tear to top edge of rear panel. An exceptionally nice copy of the book that heralded Hemingway's arrival as an innovator and master of the American short story. Rare in dust jacket. Item #5083