Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Saul Bellow
By Tom Congalton
Bellow's three National Book Award-winning books, Mr. Sammler's Planet (1971), Herzog (1965), and The Adventures of Augie March (1954); and his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Humboldt's Gift (1976), are not difficult to find, but they do command a premium price if they are either in especially fine condition or signed (although for such a legendarily grumpy author, Bellow seems to have been generous with his signature). His first two books, Dangling Man (1944), and The Victim (1947), are usually harder to find, with Dangling Man, because of its fragile wartime construction (using cheaper paper and other materials) being the most difficult and expensive. Other early books of his that have become scarce in fine copies are his play The Last Analysis (1965), and Henderson the Rain King (1959). It seems to us that Bellow will continue to be collected for the relatively long term, and fine copies will become steadily scarcer.
The tip is published by permission of Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc. Thank you very much.