The Sleep of Baby Filbertson The Sleep of Baby Filbertson The Sleep of Baby Filbertson
Inscribed to George Cukor
HERLIHY, James Leo

The Sleep of Baby Filbertson

New York: E.P. Dutton, 1959

8vo, pp. 190. Original black boards, lettered in green to spine. Bookplate of George Cukor to front pastedown. Illustrated dustwrapper. Offsetting to endpapers, otherwise a near fine copy in a near fine dustwrapper with just a little light edgewear.

First edition. GEORGE CUKOR'S COPY, WITH HIS BOOKPLATE, AND INSCRIBED TO HIM BY THE AUTHOR: 'For George. These souvenirs of my youth. Love, Jamie. July 6 1977'. (The last two digits of the date are smudged and illegible, but we are aware of a copy of Herlihy's All Fall Down inscribed to Cukor on the same day.)

Herlihy's first book of prose, preceded only by his play Blue Denim published the previous year. A collection of seven short stories, some with a gay theme, and all featuring casts of outsiders living beyond societal norms, The Sleep of Baby Filbertson announced the course both for Herlihy's work and life. This copy is inscribed to the legendary American film director George Cukor, and bears his bookplate. Like Herlihy, Cukor was gay; like Cukor before him, Herlihy saw no reason to hide his sexuality -- gay liberation was as important a part of his radicalism as his later identification with the hippie and anti-war movements.

The book is dedicated 'To Anais'. Anais Nin met Herlihy in 1947, at Black Mountain College in South Carolina. Nin was an invited speaker, Herlihy a student twenty-four years younger than her. The two became lifelong friends and soul mates: Nin referred to Herlihy as her 'spiritual son'.

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