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daiad fine books: Emanie Sachs | Red Damask

#2017. Sachs, Emanie. Red Damask. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1927. First edition.

Small 8vo, original black cloth, titles in red stamped direct on upper board and spine, bright red top-stain; pp. [10], 1-426, [4] (ads). Corners rubbed, one ding to the front hinge, front free endpaper creased, old price stamp on the rear fep, else fine.

For her first novel, TALK, based on close observations of her childhood home, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Emanie Sachs (née Nahm, who would later append first Arling and finally Philips to her name) earned comparisons to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis, but also a backlash from family and friends, who resented their foibles and peculiarities being exposed to the public.

In this, her second novel, she took on the world of a wealthy and privileged New York family which, despite her prefatory note ("No character in this book is based on a person in real life"), dismayed her in-laws, the Sachs of Goldman-Sachs fame.

Well-written, finely observed, thoroughly entertaining, and moving, reminiscent (to our minds) of Henry James and Edith Wharton. Edna Ferber, upon reading it, cabled home: “superb, superb, superb.” Scarce in the trade.


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