Sunday, August 23, 2015

William T. Vollmann, "The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War" (Signed First Edition)

Always an exciting, daunting moment when William T. Vollmann unleashes another brick: this is The Dying Grass, the "Fifth Dream" of his "Seven Dreams" series on the conflicts of colonization in North America through history. The Dying Grass focuses on the Nez Perce War of 1877 in the Pacific Northwest, but I expect it to sprawl across multiple timelines and narrative reliability in typical Vollmann way. Although I'm very excited to dig in to The Dying Grass, it is a book to clear the schedule for - it is a massive 1300 pages and I'll need to power through a lot of this year's major fall novels before I feel ready to take this one on.

I'm a huge Vollmann fan and have featured a lot of his books on this website, many of which are signed and limited editions. The Dying Grass surely has a very small print run in its hardcover sate (if its list price of $55 is of any indication) and I was determined to get a signed copy for my library. Vollmann did only a handful of events out west, and I reached out to the Haight Booksmith in San Francisco to see if they could get a book signed on my behalf. They were thrilled to help and kindly coordinated this personalized copy for me:

I'm very happy to have given them my business and even across the country I felt like I participated in their book launch event. I'm surprised collectors don't reach out like this more often - having put together a few of these events myself, a genuinely excited absentee phone order is a wonderful thing to facilitate (and the sales don't hurt either). Don't be shy to call your not-so-local bookshops!

Currently reading:
So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood by Patrick Modiano

Currently listening to:
Kendrick Lamar, "King Kunta"

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