Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1983. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher’s brown paper-covered boards, spine stamped in silver, original printed dust jacket.
First edition of West Virginia native and short story writer Breece D’J Pancake’s posthumously published collection. Described as "one of the greatest authors you've never heard of" and an "American myth," Pancake was a high school English teacher before enrolling as a student at UVA in 1976 under the tutelage of novelist and then-chairman of the creative writing program John Casey. With the support of Casey and essayist James Alan McPherson, Pancake published stories in the Atlantic to critical acclaim and several newfound fans including Kurt Vonnegut ("I give you my word of honor that he is merely the best writer, the most sincere writer I’ve ever read") and Joyce Carol Oates ("a young writer of such extraordinary gifts that one is tempted to compare his debut to Hemingway’s"). His sudden spell of success was cut short when he took his own life at the age of 26 in 1979. His only book, this collection comprises twelve stories encapsulating his upbringing in rural Appalachia during the post-war industrial boom, most previously published in the Atlantic, including his best known "Trilobites" and others that were previously unpublished at the time of his death. Includes a foreword by McPhersonand and afterword by Casey. Dust jacket designed by Steve Snider. Unclipped dust jacket with light sunning to spine and light edgewear. Very good. Item #8423