I have always loved books—not just reading books, which is my passion, but holding a book in my hands, looking at the cover, opening to the first page to begin the journey of discovery. My mother instilled my love of reading in me, as well as collecting, and for that I am ever grateful to her.
My collection is somewhat varied. As a photographer I have a selection of photography books, and as an Anglophile I have always enjoyed British literature; one of my favorite authors is PG Wodehouse. However, my primary focus is women’s literature. Here, too, my collection is wide ranging, running the gamut from Virginia Woolf and Edith Wharton to Barbara Pym and E. F. Benson.
While it is always wonderful to have first editions and signed copies, some of my favorite books are neither. One of my most cherished books is an old paperback copy of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Mandarins, inscribed to me as a gift from my mother. In addition, while searching in vain for another copy of the same book in the Gryphon Bookstore, we had given up hope when my husband, teetering high on a ladder in the “H’s,” found a copy. The date was April 14, 1986, and it was that evening that we learned that Simone de Beauvoir had passed away that day. Two paperbacks, yet two of the most cherished books in my collection.
An American in Paris.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1940.
Inscribed First Edition by Janet Flanner to her dear friend Stewart Jackson. In addition, there is an exquisite bookplate belonging to Anita Loos inside the front cover.
Out of Africa.
New York: Random House, 1938.
A lovely American First Edition by Danish Baroness Karen Blixen who wrote the book under her pen name, Isak Dinesen.
New York: Sheridan House, 1949.
A lovely copy in a beautiful clamshell box, inscribed by Mae West to theatrical agent Michael O’Shea. Mae West wrote, produced, and starred as Diamond Lil and toured from coast to coast. In 1949 she came back to Broadway. The play was based upon this book.
New York: Crosby Gaige, 1928.
Signed Limited First Edition. Copy 644 of 861 copies signed by Virginia Woolf. Bound in publisher's original black cloth with spine decorated in gilt. A lovely copy.
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., 1933.
A lovely signed first edition in a beautiful clamshell box.