Signed Book “A Tree of Night” - 1949
Scarce signed first edition of Truman Capote’s first collection of short stories, A Tree of Night. Signed on the half-title without inscription. Excellent provenance from the private collection of legendary Hollywood actor Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and bearing his personal library bookplate on the inside cover. Original first issue dustjacket with price present on the front flap, slight wear to the edges as expected with this particular DJ, some chipping along top, more so at top of spine, otherwise very good. Octavo, original black cloth stamped in yellow and silver, with Cecil Beaton photograph on rear panel.
A Tree of Night was first serially published in magazines between 1945 and 1949; both “Miriam” and “Shut a Final Door” won O. Henry Awards. Following the unexpected success of Capote’s first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, Random House assembled the stories in book form in 1949.
Set alternately in the South, where Capote was raised, and in New York City, where he launched his writing career, the stories are sometimes comic, sometimes sinister: “Now a sound can start a dream; the noise of one car passing in the night can drop a hundred sleepers into the deep parts of themselves. It’s funny to think of that one car racing through the dark, trailing so many dreams. Sex, a sudden change of light, a pickle, these are little keys that can open up our insides, too. But most dreams begin because there are furies inside of us that blow open all the doors.”