New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973. Single volume, measuring 8 x 5.25 inches: , 138. Original gold buckram lettered in black, original unclipped color-printed dustjacket. Inscribed by Alice Walker on half-title, with “& Trouble” crossed out, and “for Roz + Howie / Alice 1973” written under “In Love.” Lightest rubbing to head of jacket spine.
First edition, second printing, of Walker’s acclaimed first book of stories, warmly inscribed to her mentor at Spelman College, historian and activist Howard Zinn, best known for A People’s History of the United States, and his wife Roslyn Zinn. The stories collected here offer sharp portraits of the interior lives of Black women in the American South: “Her place will be in the home, he has said, repeatedly, promising her rest she had prayed for. But now she wonders. When she is rested, what will she do?” In 1974, In Love & Trouble won the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award for an outstanding work of fiction; Walker would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for The Color Purple a decade later. Walker first got to know Zinn as a student in his Russian history class at Spelman College, where Zinn chaired the history department in the early 1960s. He was so impressed by Walker’s writing that he shared it with his colleagues, some of whom were skeptical of her authorship: “His rejoinder: ‘Why, there’s nobody else in Atlanta who could have written it!’” Zinn and Walker both worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; when Spelman fired Zinn for “insubordination,” Walker also left the college, realizing that she too was likely to be expelled. Upon transfering to Sarah Lawrence, the first friends Walker wrote were “Howie and Roz.” The Zinns remained close friends and committed readers throughout Walker’s writing career. See “Saying Goodbye to My Friend Howard Zinn,” Boston Globe, January 31, 2010. A near-fine copy, testifying to a lifelong friendship.