TORTILLA FLAT. John Steinbeck.


Illustrated by Ruth Gannett. New York: Covici Friede, (1935). Original tan cloth printed in blue, with dust jacket.

First Edition of Steinbeck's fourth book (after CUP OF GOLD, THE PASTURES OF HEAVEN and TO A GOD UNKNOWN) -- and the first book to win him real recognition. This is the picaresque tale of the paisanos of the "Tortilla Flat" area of Monterey -- bow-legged Danny and his circle of friends such as Pilon, Pablo, Cornelia Ruiz, Big Joe Portagee, Jesus Maria Corcoran and Sweets Ramirez.

These amiable rascals exhibit aspects of the paisano character, such as an innocent amorality, a superstitious but appealing affection for the Church, a ruthless instinct for survival, and a primitive love of pleasure and endurance of hardship, which result in a satisfying integrated way of life. [OCAL]

A 1942 film starred Spencer Tracy and Hedy Lamarr. Steinbeck later returned to the same neighborhood with CANNERY ROW and its sequel SWEET THURSDAY.

Of the first edition's 4000 copies, about 3500 were bound in cloth (with a dust jacket) as here, and about 500 were bound in the dust jacket alone -- i.e. in wrappers. G&P notes that "No evidence has been found that these copies in wrappers actually precede the hard cover issue."

This volume is in nearly fine condition, very slightly browned. Included is the dust jacket, with a (price-clipped) blurb about the book on the front flap, and a brief biography of Steinbeck on the rear; the jacket is in good-to-very good condition -- its spine is sunned so that the bold blue is light blue-grey (as is often the case), there is minor wear around the spine ends not affecting any print, and there is a small mark (partial glass-ring?) on the front panel. Goldstone & Payne A4b. Item #14800

Price: $1,450.00

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