London: Hutchinson & Co., 1960. Single volume, measuring 7.75 x 5 inches: 223, . Original black cloth, pale blue title block lettered in gilt on spine, original clipped color pictorial dust jacket. Signed by Edna O’Brien on title page. Light shelfwear to jacket, with a few tiny chips and closed tears; ghost of price sticker.
First edition of Edna O’Brien's groundbreaking first novel, the story of two provincial girls in Dublin, described by O’Brien as “my experience of Ireland and my farewell to it.” Banned for its sexual content, The Country Girls was burned in O’Brien’s village churchyard by her family’s parish priest, but is now considered a classic of modern Irish fiction. “The black underwear was Baba's idea. She said that we wouldn't have to wash it so often; and that it was useful if we ever had a street accident, or if men were trying to strip us in the backs of cars. Baba thought of all these things. I got black nylons too. I read somewhere that they were ‘literary’ and I had written one or two poems since I came to Dublin. I read them to Baba and she said they were nothing to the ones in mortuary cards.” A near-fine copy, uncommon signed by O’Brien.