Prize Stories 1984 – The O. Henry Awards


Authors: Various
Title: Prize Stories 1984 – The O. Henry Awards
Publisher: Anchor Press
Year of publication: 1984
Place of publication: Garden City, NY
Editor: William Abrahams
Ownership: Uncertain – either stolen from library, bought from library sale, or some other means entirely
General comments: Hardbound edition, with a bookplate inside the front cover identifying it as belonging to the American Center Library in Calcutta. I inherited this book from my father, who once told me that it was absurdly simple, back in the day, toimg_20161229_200512 walk into the American Center Library, walk out with a book that took one’s fancy, and never come back. I wonder if that is how he acquired this volume, or whether it was borrowed in turn from a college friend who had flexible ideas about property. It is one of my favourite inherited books because of the list of unconnected, evocative words scribbled on the opening endpaper. These are words and phrases a previous owner had probably intended to look up (their occurrences are underlined in-text in blue pen), but this page always gave me the impression of a freeflowing prose poem.
Transcription of inscription: 
gauzy, numismatic
‘canny burgler’, fomenting
coddling, hammock, winnow
alianthus (tree), whanged,
vamoosed, rancid, drunk-clobbered,
hombre, grue, flamenco, hood-winked,
pit-free, harridan, supine, vim,
popeyed, dire, funk, tummy, sniveling,
purblind, jowled, whoop, hubris, bravado,
permeated, gravy mix, acne, pantyhose, defecation,
enema, paprika, chunk, warped, marauded,
mope, corduroy, macrame, sequined, pardoner
confidante, poodles, cherubic, houndstooth, laundromat,
tawny, faille, shantung, velours, kugel, pirogen, latr[?]
blintzes, zinnias, muggers, stranglers, dentures, coursing,
‘her hair cut short in bangs’, dewlaps, rakehe[?]
toupee, gossamer, dowager’s humps, ‘shoes cut out
for bunions’, tableaux, guitty, conflagrations, marauders,
caldrons, crenellated, circumcision, jonquil, ruse,
brambles, scoffed, marquee, sorcery, dung rodent,
pinochle, squawk, thwack, frond, barrettes, cornet,
obeisant, beak of light, cuneiform, comatose,

Submitted by: Shalmi Barman

Calcutta Old and New

HEA Cotton 4

Author: H. E. A. Cotton                                 HEA cotton 2
Title: Calcutta Old and New
Publisher: Surajit C. Das
Year of publication: 1980 (1909)
Place of publication: Calcutta
Editor: N. R. Ray
Place of purchase: Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 3000
Ownership: no idea how many hands
General comments: When I stopped to look at a book on Calcutta at the S.&T. Bookstall (Presidency College Wall, Stall No. 11) a few weeks ago, the bookseller started hunting around for other Calcutta books and this was one of them. I have often consulted it in the library, but never found a copy. This is a 1980 reprint and the hinges have split. The bookseller wanted 5000 rupees for it, which I felt was far too much, so we settled on 3000. This may still be too much but I’m a tourist, it is worth it to me, and all second-hand booksellers deserve a lucky day every once in a while.
Transcription of dedication/inscription:

Presented to Mrs F. Jackson
On her leaving our Company.
Wish her a happy and
peaceful life!!

Submitted by: ariadne van de ven