The Long-Winded Lady. Notes from The New Yorker
New York: William Morrow and Company, 1969. Single volume, measuring 8.25 x 5.5 inches: 237, . Original monogrammed gold paper boards, black spine lettered in gilt, gold endpapers, original unclipped color pictorial dust jacket designed by Lydia Rosier. Jacket design repeated as frontispiece. Two abrasions to jacket spine panel, small chips to spine ends, short closed tear and edgewear to uniformly toned jacket.
First edition of Maeve Brennan’s collected “Talk of the Town” pieces, originally published in The New Yorker in the 1950s and 1960s. Often credited as the inspiration for Truman Capote’s Holly Golightly, Brennan was an observant girl-about-town who covered the midcentury Manhattan of neighborhood cafes, rented rooms, corner bars, and park benches: “Sixth Avenue possesses a quality that some people acquire, sometimes quite suddenly, which dooms it and them to be loved only at the moment when they are being looked at for the very last time.” Brought back into print in the 1990s, after Brennan’s death, these evanescent pieces describe everyday New Yorkers to pointed, comic, quietly devastating effect: “When she looks about her, it is not the strange or exotic ways of people that interest her, but the ordinary ways.” A very good copy of a surprisingly scarce first edition.