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McCarthy, Mary. CANNIBALS AND MISSIONARIES. New York City, NY: Harcourt Brace, 1979. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 369 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's sixth and final novel. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. A study of human interaction and the relationships that result from a high-stress environment, in this case, a major hijacking. The author achieves the remarkable by keeping the reader unbalanced. As to be expected of Mary McCarthy, there are no clear-cut villains or heroes, only human beings trapped together. It is as easy to hate the hostages as it is to hate the captors. In the end, all one feels is a sense of pity for all involved. Since she was not a mystery or thriller writer, it is quite obvious that the suspense elements of the novel as well as its whole conception is about a deeper and larger theme. Mary McCarthy was called (by Norman Podhoretz) as the "Dark Lady of American Letters". As a literary critic, she had few peers. As a scholar of the first rank, she edited Hannah Arendt's unfinished masterpiece, "The Life of the Mind", in a gesture of magnanimous friendship and genuine commitment to the highest ideals of a civilized life. The subject of numerous biographies, she was not a feminist but clearly lived like one (the experience came before the idea) although she was not encumbered by feminism's ideological dead-ends. A "must-have" title for Mary McCarthy collectors. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time and is now collectible. This is one of relatively few copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A scarce copy thus. One of the most important and most influential American writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MARY MCCARTHY TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0151153876. $20.00

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