Hard Cover. New York: Viking, 1987. First Edition. Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First American edition. Signed by author to title page. Publisher's white cloth-backed brown boards, titles in gilt to spine, maroon topstain, and tan endpapers; cream-colored dust jacket with William Blake engraving of Philip Gidley King drawing to front panel. Book with remainder mark to bottom of text block, and a few scratches to topstain, else fine; near fine unclipped dust jacket with faint toning to spine, and a faint pen-mark on front inner jacket flap. Overall, a beautiful, tight and square copy, signed by the author. The Songlines tells the story of Bruce Chatwin and his guide Arkady Volchok's journey through the Australian Outback to research Aboriginal songs. The title is a cosmological term used by Aboriginal Australians to describe the paths that their ancestors traveled at the beginning of the world. In addition to relaying Chatwin's travels, the book reflects on some larger philosophical issues, like the uniquely restless nature of humans. In The New York Times Review of Books, Rory Stewart wrote that The Songlines "transformed English travel writing," and he described the book as "almost...a sacred text." The book was a New York Times bestseller and is considered Chatwin's greatest commercial success. This first American edition copy is signed by the author.