A Week. Iury Libedinsky, Arthur Ransome, Yuri Libedinsky.

A Week

New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1923. Single volume, measuring 7.25 x 5 inches: 247, [1]. Original blue cloth stamped in black, top edge stained yellow, original unclipped typographic dust jacket priced at $1.50 on the spine. Introduction by translator Arthur Ransome. Capwell's Books (Oakland, California) bookseller ticket to lower pastedown. Pinpoint foxing to edges and endpapers; light shelfwear to jacket, with one short closed tear.

First American edition of Bolshevik writer Libedinsky's first novel, first published in Russian in 1922, an account of one week in a remote Siberian village torn apart by the Revolution. Facing famine, Communist leaders order the villagers into the forest to chop wood for fuel, creating an opening for a counterrevolutionary revolt. The violent aftermath is reflected through the eyes of a dozen characters, both Reds and Whites, and the unlucky villagers caught in the middle: “The Easter bell-ringing floated over the town, and the sound of it was interwoven with the tapping of the machine-gun. . . . She got up with difficulty.” A Week was the first proletarian novel to find a wide readership outside Russia. Translator Arthur Ransome attributes the novel's success to its documentary quality: “Libedinsky aimed so simply . . . his was so clearly an attempt to see rather than an attempt to describe.” A Week would be withdrawn from Soviet libraries after Libedinsky's expulsion from the Communist Party for Trotskyism in 1938, and reprinted only in censored editions. A near-fine copy, in the scarce original dust jacket.

Price: $300.00