New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. Near Fine in Good dj. (c.1926). First American Edition. Hardcover. NOISBN . [extremely light bumping to a couple of corners, no other significant wear, vintage price sticker and bookseller's label (from the famous San Francisco department store The White House) on rear pastedown; jacket has shallow chipping along bottom edge (both panels and spine), also a bit at the upper corners, and the rear flap, which had been detached, has been expertly re-attached by a professional paper conservator]. Plomer's remarkable debut novel, published when he was just 23, deals with "the experiences of an over-sensitive Englishman in Africa -- Africa with its burning sun, luxuriant vegetation, its superstition, and the cruelty and stupidity of its white invaders," with its title character described by one latter-day critic as "a bizarre combination of Gatsby and Prufrock (and a possible genius)." When the book was reprinted a decade ago, Nadine Gordimer declared in a new introduction that it is "an inexplicable lapse on the part of literary scholars and critics that 'Turbott Wolfe' is not recognised as a pyrotechnic presence in the canon of renegade colonialist literature along with Conrad. It caused a furor in South Africa upon its publication (by Leonard and Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press), for its frank depiction of interracial love, and for daring to criticize the country's whites and their supposed benevolence toward the black population. Although born in South Africa, Plomer spent most of his childhood in England before returning with his family to the country (a British dominion until 1931), where he eventually became involved (with Laurens van der Post and Roy Campbell) in the short-lived magazine "Voorslag" ("Whiplash"), through which they intended to agitate in favor of racial equality. Local outrage over that publication and "Turbott Wolfe" itself led to Plomer's departure from South Africa in 1926; after several years in Japan, he returned to England, where his friendship with the Woolfs facilitated his acceptance into the British literary establishment. Although he wrote relatively little fiction other than short stories after 1934, he was a prolific reviewer, poet and essayist, and had a good deal of influence as the chief reader for publisher Jonathan Cape. He also collaborated (as librettist on several works) with composer Benjamin Britten, and published two autobiographies. The American edition of this landmark novel is much less common than the original Hogarth Press issue, and boasts a colorful dust jacket designed by Winold Reiss, a German-born American artist and graphic designer whose work showed the influence of Native American art and culture. [PLEASE NOTE that the rear jacket flap has been reattached by a professional paper conservator.] [This item is featured in ReadInk's E-Catalog 3.1, which can be perused in full at our website. (Not everything in that catalog is listed on whatever site you're seeing this.)] . (Inventory #: 19827)
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