New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1969. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's orange cloth over grey paper covered boards, spine stamped in black and white, top edge stained black, yellow endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
First edition of Leonard Gardner’s only novel. Inspired by his own experiences amateur boxing as a teenager in Stockton, California, Gardner follows two boxers grappling with the reality that they will never in their wildest dreams make it big time; the 18 year old Ernie on the way up, and the 29 year old semi-retired Billy, on the way down. A finalist for the 1970 National Book Award, Fat City has only gained more prestige since its publication thanks to critical praise by Joan Didion, Denis Johnson, and Raymond Carver, among others. Gardner also wrote the script for John Huston’s 1972 film adaptation of Fat City, starring a relatively unknown Stacy Keach, a young Jeff Bridges, and Susan Tyrrell. Dust jacket designed by Janet Halverson. Light toning to board edges. Near fine in unclipped dust jacket. Item #6444