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James M. Dourgarian, Bookman
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2341 Hickory Drive
Concord, CA 94520

Established1980 - Member ABAA

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Click on the shopping basket by a item to create an email for us to contact you about ordering that item. You may also call 1 (925) 349-4400 to talk to Jim and place a phone order with Visa, Mastercard, or Discover. You may also arrange to pay by check. Click on the link below to email a general inquiry.

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Memories of Wallace Stegner

James M.Dourgarian, Bookman, was established in 1980. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA). Like all ABAA members, we answer to a higher authority and follow a higher standard of ethics that guarantees a successful transaction for all our customers.

We buy and sell old books, vintage books, collectible books, rare books, first edition books, and related ephemera. We maintain several specialties. Among them are American fiction first editions from c.1900 to the present. Within that general field, we have heavy emphasis in John Steinbeck and Steinbeckiana. Thus, we buy and sell Steinbeck primary first editions in dust jackets, signed/limited editions, his appearances in anthologies, his periodical appearances, books and periodicals about Steinbeck, film and theatre memorabilia, bibliographies, and miscellaneous items.

We also specialize in these same categories for these authors -- Jack London, Wallace Stegner, and Stephen King. Other specialties include Western Americana, books on California and the West, Photography books, books on Japan, China, and the Orient, and Armed Services Editions. The latter are vintage paperbacks issued to American GIs from 1943 to 1947. They are comprised of mysteries, Westerns, science fiction and fantasy, mainstream fiction, historical novels, science, poetry, adventure stories, and more.

Within our field of modern first editions, we also sell related film memorabilia Thus, we sell film posters, lobby card sets, pressbooks, stills, scripts, etc. for films made from the works of authors we carry such as John Steinbeck, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler, Zane Grey, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Stephen King, Edward Abbey, Anne Rice, and many others.

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[John Steinbeck] Steinbeck, John. Typed Letter Signed. Los Gatos, John Steinbeck, January 5, 1938, first edition. This two-page letter in reality is the manuscript for a primary first edition by this Pulitzer/Nobel Prize-winning author, the book in question is titled The First Watch, cited in the Steinbeck bibliography as Goldstone & Payne A26a, Morrow 199 and 200, published by The House of Books (Louis Henry and Marguerite Cohn) printed by the Ward Ritchie Press in 1947 in an edition limited to 60 copies (plus a few over-runs) as a Christmas gift, 50 copies were for their use while the first 10 numbered copies with an envelope similarly numbered were designated for Steinbeck himself, the lengthy letter (eight paragraphs, a total of 69 lines) is addressed to Arnold Gingrich, editor of "Esquire," thanking him for the gift of a watch which, as it turns out, was the first watch given him, the letter is full of Steinbeck's usual humor, he writes, "I am swathed in a kind of wonder and in a little fear. I am quite sure you could not have known that in me you had probably the most profound, double -barrelled, synchro-mesh,watch tragedy the world has even known," he goes on how he anticipated a watch as a gift when he was near graduation from grammar school "when Elgin and Waltham were explaining in full pages the remoteness of success possibility to a watchless person, I must admit that a little hope flickered. And so I graduated --- and I got a signet ring," he goes on, "I hopeMy grades in high school indicate a high degree of introspection and brooding rather than a low I. Q. In my bitterness I put them down simply to the fact that I had no watch," his anticipation was crushed when he received a waterman's pen and pencil set for graduating high school, then he went to college, he writes, "By that time my time sense was so shriveled that it effected all my values, my morals, my thirst, my appetites and my politics," he goes on, "I knew that if I graduated I might get a watch because there were the advertisements again, and this time they made no bones about people who tried to buck the system without Elgins and Walthams. I just didn't have the nerve. I didn't graduate," once again there was no watch, except for this one from Gingrich, he writes, "I wonder if such things always come too late. I wonder if I can go back. I wonder for that matter if I can tell time!" included with Steinbeck's letter are two letters from the Cohns to David Heyler, husband (and book collector) of the daughter of Steinbeck's youngest sister, Mary, the first, dated March 27, 1953, explains the origin of The First Watch, Marguerite Cohn writes, "We purchased a collection of Steinbeck firsts and included therewith was a typed letter signed (which we still own) which constituted the manuscript for our booklet. We thought it was worth preserving in a more permanent form and approached Mr. Steinbeck for his permission," the letter goes on to quote Heyler other Steinbeck items after which she writes "Someday when you get ready to publish your bibliography let us have your list of items and we shall check without records to see if there is anything lacking and we are sure our collectors would lend you the item for you to collate," the second letter, signed in full by Mrs. Cohn, dated May 3, 1957, was written after Heyler and the Cohns had finally met, she sends another copy of The First Watch ($15!!!) and sends on approval "the original Steinbeck letter to Gingrich which is the manuscript of The First Watch. The price written in the corner is in my husband's writing but I will give you 10% off making it $45 if it interests you, see Steinbeck: A Life in Letters pages 151-152 which reprints the letter in a truncated form. All three letters are folded for mailing and include some markings and notations plus a few paperclip marks, overall very good. JD 36836


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  • Books shipped to a location within California are subject to 8.25% sales tax.shipping.
  • We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
  • Call 1 (925) 349-4400 to talk to Jim and place an order with Visa, Mastercard or Discover.
  • You may also arrange to pay by check.

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