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Algren, Nelson (Subject/Writer) & Shay, Art (Photographer). NELSON ALGREN'S CHICAGO: PHOTOGRAPHS BY ART SHAY. Chicago, IL: University Of Illinois Press, 1988. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 122 pages. Fine/Fine. Signed.

Retrospective collection of photographs on subject. The First Hardcover Ediiton. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited print run as a hardcover original only and as part of the Visions of Illinois Series. The First Edition is now scarce. A brilliant production by Art Shay: Oversize-volume format. Hard boards with white titles printed on spine, as issued. Photographs and text by Art Shay. Printed on glossy stock paper in the United States to the highest standards. In pictorial DJ with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Presents Art Shay's photographic sequence on Chicago from the ostensible point-of-view of its protagonist/subject, the great writer Nelson Algren. One of the most affectingly beautiful photography books on the city and its people, it is dedicated to Harmon Shay, the photographer's son and Nelson Algren's godson, who died tragically in 1972 at the age of 21. Art Shay and the late novelist were lifelong friends. Algren arrived spectacularly on the literary landscape with "The Man With The Golden Arm", the very first novel to win the National Book Award, and the basis of a truly great film adaptation, which features the Academy Award-winning performance by Frank Sinatra. In his posthumous "collaborative" homage-gesture, Art Shay presents Chicago as Nelson Algren saw and captured it in his gritty, raw, and vital prose. The snapshots and portraits of the novelist are suffused with the charm, wit, and humanity that Algren's own work is celebrated for. In the most beautiful photographs, Algren is shown obliquely, the "background" observer of his fellow Chicagoans instead of being the full-frontal subject of Shay's iconic images. There is a poignant nostalgia and ruthless honesty at the same time about Nelson Algren and Chicago. The images vibrate and glow from within. An absolute "must-have" title for Nelson Algren, Art Shay, and Americana collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen on the half-title page by Art Shay. This title is a late-modern photography classic. This is one of very few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Beware: Most copies available online have major flaws yet are priced as though they had collectible value. A rare signed copy thus. One of the greatest American novelists of the 20th century, as seen by one of its finest photographers. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER ART SHAY AND LEE BALTERMAN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 025201586X. $100.00

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