Sunday, February 8, 2015

Haruki Murakami, Tony Takitani (Cloverfield Press, 2006)

Back in 2006, a small Los Angeles publisher named Cloverfield Press came out with a line of small chapbooks with letterpressed covers. There were eight in total, including The Boy from Lam Kien by Miranda July and Tony Takitani by Haruki Murakami. "Tony Takitani" is a beloved Murakami story, originally written in 1990 and published in the New Yorker in 2002 (and was even made into a film in 2005). The story went on to be included in the author's English-language Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman collection in 2006, but was first published that year in a standalone volume by Cloverfield Press. 

Cloverfield Press's thing was that they numbered every copy and stamped them with a notary-like seal. It was a great way of making their books collectible without having signatures in every copy. Due to Murakami's rabid fanbase, Tony Takitani sold exceptionally fast, and was fetching some surprisingly high prices on eBay at one point. I personally sold a few copies myself, surprised that people didn't figure out that you could buy them directly from the press. I accidentally left myself with a first edition / second printing, though!

Activity at Cloverfield Press vanished after this first line of books. Their site is still live (here), but it's a ghost town. Nothing's been updated in about nine years...!

This is copy 1135 (of perhaps 2000).

Lovely endpapers, inverting the cover illustrations:

Currently reading:
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Currently listening to:
Gaussian Curve, "Clouds"

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