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Mama by Terry McMillan 1Ed 1Pr SIGNED; RARE - McMillan, Terry - 1987. 
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987. First edition. Hardcover. Fine/fine. A Fine copy of the first edition, first printing of Terry McMillan's debut book [of which only 5,000 copies were issued], being the tale of an impoverished black family's struggles to overcome its problems (spine ends lightly pushed, tiny spots to the closed page block's top and bottom edges), in a Very Near Fine dust jacket (slight edge and corner wear, slight pushing to the spine ends, some pushing to the front flap's upper edge) without the substantial fading and wear that often is seen on this title, CONTEMPORARILY SIGNED BY TERRY MCMILLAN on the half-title and there nicely inscribed, signed, and dated by her as follows: "Linda / Well thanks so / much for your generosity - / I appreciate it!! / Enjoy MAMA! / Best / Terry McMillan / 1-27-87". In the New York Times Magazine, Daniel Max (then a contributing editor of The Paris Review and who has written frequently on authors and publishing) noted that: "Before "Waiting to Exhale" made her a millionaire, Terry McMillan was a struggling writer. As a junior editor, I acquired for a small sum the paperback rights to her first book, "Mama." Published in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin in 1987, "Mama" is the story of a strong black woman who very much resembles McMillan's own mother. The standard effort was made to ship books and to seek reviews, which "Mama" did not get in unusual numbers. Even without strong reviews "Mama" sold out its first hardcover printing of 5,000 copies, a mystery until McMillan explained what she had done. Essentially McMillan had marketed her own book. She'd used the word processor at the law firm where she worked as night typist, and sent out thousands of letters to bookstores, college organizations and news media -- with a strong emphasis on black groups -- urging them to stock and promote her book and invite her to read from it. Today as a result of such efforts and her tireless touring, she is one of the best-known writers in the country -- a bigger draw than Alice Walker or Toni Morrison. And all three of McMillan's subsequent books -- including an anthology of new black fiction, "Breaking Ice" -- together have nearly a million copies in print." McMillan's publicity efforts were so successful that "Mama" went into its third printing six weeks after its original publication. While not an Autobiography, the novel was based on a short story by McMillan titled "Ma' Dear" [a tale inspired by events from McMillan's childhood and characters from Port Huron, Michigan where she grew up] that McMillan workshopped with her writing group, The Harlem Writer's Guild who advised her that the short story should be turned into a novel. A considerably nicer copy of Terry McMillan's debut book than often is seen, CONTEMPORARILY SIGNED AND DATED BY TERRY MCMILLAN WITH AN EXCELLENT INSCRIPTION. QUITE SCARCE INDEED WHEN CONTEMPORARILY SIGNED AND DATED, perhaps, if not likely, signed and dated at one of the appearances arranged by McMillan and noted by Daniel Max in the above quote, and certainly well-before McMillan came to fame. [As the Uncorrected Proof for the Novel names January 1987 as the projected time of publication, the copy offered here is quite likely to be one of the earliest copies of the novel to be signed by McMillan.] A RARE CONTEMPORARILY SIGNED COPY -- THE EARLIEST TERRY MCMILLAN SIGNATURE WE EVER HAVE SEEN.
[Bookseller: Allington Antiquarian Books, LLC]
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