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McMurtry's Second Novel, Inscribed to an Important Critic Who Promoted the Author's Career in its Early Stages


(New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, 1963). 208 x 145 mm. (8 1/4 x 5 3/4"). 5 p.l., 299, [7] pp. FIRST EDITION.

Publisher's cream-colored buckram, upper cover with a red sun symbol, spine with red and black lettering, original dust jacket. SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR in ink on front free endpaper, and with ink signature of Walter Clemons in upper corner of same page; with pencilled notations (presumably by Clemons) and occasional underlining scattered throughout. ◆Buckram with a little edge soiling, preliminary leaves (including signature) affected by offsetting, a couple pages with minor thumbing or a faint fold, but still an excellent copy with an interesting association. Jacket spine a little sunned and panel edges slightly toned, a few minor chips to tail of spine and corners, price sticker over the printed price, faint red streak on lower wrapper, but in very nice condition overall.

Set in West Texas (not Wyoming as the title suggests), McMurtry's second novel follows the lives of three intimately connected people--and the love triangle between them--over the course of about 40 years. The novel was adapted into the movie "Lovin' Molly" in 1974. Although Larry McMurtry (1936-2021) is best known for his works of fiction set in Texas and the American West, including his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Lonesome Dove," he was also an award-winning screenwriter, memoirist, antiquarian bookseller, and teacher. This appears to have been the personal copy of Walter Clemons (1929-94), a highly-regarded author and book critic who wrote about "Leaving Cheyenne" in a New York Times article in 1971, calling it a "funny, wonderful, heartbreaking book," and recalling a time when he "bought up five copies at a dollar each in Marboro [the country's largest retailer of “remainder” books] and passed them out" to other people. Clemons' great admiration for McMurtry's style, particularly in the present work, makes this an especially resonant association copy.

Price: $2,250.00

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