A FRIEZE OF GIRLS: Memoirs as Fiction
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964. First edition. First edition. 8vo. Near fine in like jacket. INSCRIBED by Seager to ffep: "For Dick, / Don't pay any / attention to / this. Live clean. / Allan Seager." (Item ID: 10974)
Though admired by many during his lifetime, including Malcolm Cowley, Hugh Kenner, Robert Penn Warren, and James Dickey (who credited Seager's novel Amos Berry with making him a poet), novelist and short story writer Allan Seager had until recently been largely forgotten, remembered -- when remembered at all -- primarily for his excellent biography of Theodore Roethke (The Glass House). Though E.J. O'Brien -- editor of the original Best American Short Stories series -- once described Seager as part of the "apostolic succession of the American short story" which ran through Sherwood Anderson and Hemingway directly to Seager, almost all of his books remain out-of-print. Recently, however, a long-overdue interest in his work has reemerged. For its seventh issue, McSweeney's reprinted one of Seager's best-known stories along with three appreciations. And in 2004 The University of Michigan Press reissued Frieze of Girls with an new introduction by Charles Baxter who describes Seager's work in Frieze as "virtuoso." A novelized memoir of the girls and young women Seager knew in his youth, it is arguably his greatest achievement, one comparable in its artistry to Tobias Wolff's This Boys Life. Seager's signature is scarce; as the last book published during his life, particularly difficult to find signed.