New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1952.
8vo.; 232pp; yellow boards stamped in grey; rubbed boards with a red mark on front board; closed tear to upper spine end; unclipped pictorial dust-jacket; near fine.
First edition of author’s first book. A fragile and poorly-made book, very uncommonly found in such superb shape. The novel was assembled from several disparate stories first published in Mademoiselle, Sewanee Review and Partisan Review. The first chapter is an expanded version of her Master's thesis, "The Train," and other chapters are reworked versions of "The Peeler," "The Heart of the Park," and "Enoch and the Gorilla." The novel introduces the story of Hazel Motes, who comes from Eastrod, Tennessee and has discovered a new religion. "I preach the Church without Christ," he tells people from the hood of his rat colored Essex ($40, second-hand). Haze, a primitive figure, represents the most primitive issue of our time or any time -- religion. Wise Blood has humor and horror, compassion, and its satire is reminiscent of the Evelyn Waugh of The Loved One.