The copy of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man I own was published by Compass Books (The Viking Press) between 1956 and 1960.
Inside the front and back covers are lists of additional books for sale from Compass which the publisher describes this way: “Reprints of outstanding fiction, drama, nonfiction, and poetry in handsome inexpensive editions.”
Here is a scan of the lists. You should be able to make it big enough to read by clicking on it.
The thing that struck me is the names I didn’t know. Many of the mid-century usual suspects among writers in English are here. Steinbeck. Greene. A lot of D.H. Lawrence (no thanks!). Amis. More Joyce. Kerouac. Bellow. Trilling.
But who is Malcolm Cowley? And Rumer Godden? Are they okay writers who have gently sunk into more or less deserved obscurity? Or have I just discovered more holes in my education, as if there weren’t enough already.
Here are details and a few other titles that grabbed me:
A Candle for St. Jude and An Episode of Sparrows and The River by Rumer Godden.
Exile’s Return and Writers at Work by Malcolm Cowley.
The Love Letters of Phyllis McGinley.
The Wilder Shores of Love by Lesley Blanch. (The Fifty Shades of Grey of its day, perhaps?)
Radiation: What It Is and How It Affects You by Jack Schubert and Ralph E. Lapp. (How I miss the Cold War.)
If anyone knows these authors and has an opinion about their work, I’d love to hear it. Otherwise, I guess they are tidbits of trivia to start your weekend.