"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer": First American Edition of Albert Camus Classic Novel The Stranger; Inscribed by Him to fellow novelist Vincent Sheean
Item Number: 97850
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946.
First American edition of Camus’ first novel and masterpiece. Octavo, original beige cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title page, “A Vincent Sheean pour le remercier de savoir si bien parler de Stendhal Sympathiquement Albert Camus.” The recipient, Vincent Sheean was an American journalist and novelist. Sheean’s most famous work was Personal History, which won one of the inaugural National Book Awards: the Most Distinguished Biography of 1935. Film producer Walter Wanger acquired the political memoir and made it the basis for his 1940 film production Foreign Correspondent, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Sheean wrote the narration for the feature-length documentary Crisis (1939) directed by Alexander Hammid and Herbert Kline. He translated Ève Curie’s biography of her mother, Madame Curie (1939), into English. Sheean wrote Oscar Hammerstein I: Life and Exploits of an Impresario (1955) as well as a controversial biography of Dorothy Thompson and Sinclair Lewis, Dorothy and Red (1963). He studied at the University of Chicago, becoming part of a literary circle which included Glenway Wescott, Yvor Winters, Elizabeth Madox Roberts and Janet Lewis while he was there. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket design by Warren Chappell. Translated by Stuart Gilbert. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Presentation copies of The Stranger are rare, with only one appearing at auction in the past 70 years. Exceedingly scarce and desirable.
Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed "the nakedness of man faced with the absurd." With the publication of this first novel L’Etranger (The Stranger), Camus introduced his lifelong attempt to reconcile a philosophy of heroic nihilism with “the ideal of human fraternity” (Encyclopedia of Philosophy). It remains one of the classic works of the twentieth century.