"ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATIONS BETWEEN A GREAT WRITER AND A GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER EVER PUBLISHED": Scarce First Edition of The Sweet Flypaper of Life; Signed by Roy DeCarava

  • The Sweet Flypaper of Life.
  • The Sweet Flypaper of Life.
  • The Sweet Flypaper of Life.

The Sweet Flypaper of Life.

Item Number: 430

New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955.

First edition of the classic collaboration between Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes. Small octavo, original photographic wrappers. Signed by DeCarava. In near fine condition. Roth 101, Parr & Badger, The Photobook I, 242; The Open Book, 160.

"Acknowledged as the most influential black writer of his generation, and as one of the greatest American poets of all time here composed a fictional story to accompany DeCarava’s images, creating a lyrical tale about imaginary characters to go with photographs of real people" (Roth, 138). Hailed as "an important step forward" in the history of photobooks, Sweet Flypaper of Life proved especially significant in its "design, featuring a pacy, cinematic style. It is also a book that had more impact in its cheaper paperback edition, since, radically, Hughes’ text begins on the cover" (Parr & Badger II:242). "The book won two awards, received critical acclaim in The New York Times Book Review sold out its first edition, and was reprinted many times. It is one of the most successful collaborations between a great writer and a great photographer ever published" (Roth, 138).