New York: Random House, (1975). Single volume, measuring 8.25 x 5.5 inches: , 185, . Original brown paper boards, brown cloth spine stamped in green and red foil, ivory endpapers, original unclipped color pictorial dust jacket. Lightest toning to jacket.
First edition of Gayl Jones’s first novel, acquired and edited by Toni Morrison for Random House, and published when Jones was still a graduate student at Brown. In a spare and chilling monologue, the blues singer Ursa grapples with the brutal legacy of her great-grandfather, Simon Corregidora, the Portuguese slaveowner who fathered both her grandmother and mother: “When I’m telling you something don’t you ever ask if I’m lying. . . . I’m leaving evidence. And you got to leave evidence too. And your children got to leave evidence.” Ursa’s emergency hysterectomy, which leaves her unable to “make generations,” compels her to work through her family’s trauma in a different way. A very nearly fine copy.