First edition, first printing. Signed by the author. Original dark blue cloth with silver decorations and lettering to front, back and spine, in dustwrapper. A very fine copy, tight and square, without marks or blemishes; bright blue decorated endpapers. Complete with the equally fine dustwrapper, designed and illustrated by the author. Not price-clipped and correctly priced (£10.00 net) to the front flap. An immaculate copy.
Signed in black ink without dedication to the half-title. The author's return to fiction after a gap of over six years, though observing the pattern of producing a volume of stories at the same stage of every decade (1983, 1993, 2003). Both jacket and boards quarry Gray's earlier books for their decorative devices. The naked figure gracing front and back is recognisably a version of the Prometheus figure depicted on the jacket of "1982, Janine" (1984), while the roundel of a naked woman picking fruit from a tree that appears to issue from her own back, was printed on the boards of "Mavis Belfrage" (1996). The endpapers' pattern of wasps printed in black against a blue background goes back to the gold wasps found on the boards of "Something Leather" (1990), though here they surround a horned skull figure that is also repeated throughout the text. A magnificent object.
Stock code: 17543