New York: Harper & Brothers, 1943. First edition of the author's classic first novel. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author, "To May Preston with regards Betty Smith." A near fine copy in a near fine first issue dust jacket with one small chip professionally restored. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A nice copy of a novel rarely enountered signed or inscribed.
Forty years before Holden Caulfield abandoned Pencey Prep to begin his ill-fated Manhattan odyssey, Francie Nolan struggled to obtain an education in the teeming tenement neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Francie grows up nurtured by the loving gallantries of her father, a singing waiter who drinks too much, and the rigorous austerities practiced by her brave mother, a janitress who reads to her children each night from the complete plays of Shakespeare and the 'Protestant Bible'. The book was an instant best-seller, with 300,000 copies purchased in the first six weeks. Writing in the Yale review, Orville Prescott praised A Tree Grows in Brooklyn as a 'rich and rare example of regional local color writing, filled to the scuppers with Brooklynese, Brooklyn folk-ways and Brooklyn atmosphere" (New York Public Library Books of the Century, 207).
- Raptis Rare Books, ABAA/ ILAB
- Bookseller Inventory #:
- A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
- Smith, Betty
- Harper & Brothers,
- New York:
- Date published:
- Betty Smith first edition, inscribed by the author, Tree Grows in Brooklyn First Edition, Tree Grows in Brooklyn Signed First Edition
- Bookseller catalogs:
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a classic coming of age story, first published in 1943. It follows young Francie Nolan, a girl who loves to read and observe the world around her.Like the tree breaking through the concrete to flourish in the scant sunlight, Francie grows and does better than just survive.
Francie stood on tiptoe and stretched her arms wide. "Oh, I want to hold it all!" she cried. "I want to hold the way the night is - cold without wind. And the way the stars are so near and shiny. I want to hold all of it tight until it hollers out, 'Let me go! Let me go!'"