Arion Lyre

51. Williwaw by Gore Vidal

Williwaw by Gore Vidal, with a new introduction by the author, and schematic drawings of the freight-supply ship used as the setting, and three photographs of the author, 1996.

This is the fiftieth-anniversary edition of the publication of Gore Vidal's first novel. Written when he was nineteen and serving aboard a coastal supply ship in the navy of the U. S. Army in the Aleutian islands at the end of World War II, the novel is set at the same time, on the same type of vessel. By then the Aleutians were safe from battle. Danger comes instead from the force of nature in a williwaw storm that tests the moral character of the men as conflicts arise among the crew members. The novel was hailed as an auspicious debut and remains a credit to its author. Plans drawn by the naval architect who designed the freight-supply ship were discovered and are reproduced on the endpapers to help the reader locate the action on board.

Frontispiece and title page

Title page and frontispiece, with photograph of the author.


Format: 11-1/2 by 8-1/4 inches, 132 pages. The type is Monotype Hess Bold and handset Caslon Bold. The paper is German mouldmade Schiller. The photographs and ship schematics were printed by offset lithography. The binding is full cloth in dark blue, with grayish blue-green endpapers and title label. A dust jacket of the same paper in a cover weight, with top and bottom edging in dark blue cloth covers the book. Numbered and signed by the author. Edition of 250 copies, $250.00. Out of print.

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Edition: The format is 11-1/2 by 8-1/4 inches, 132 pages. Bound in full dark blue cloth, with dust jacket, numbered and signed by the author. The book is limited to an edition of 250 copies for sale. Out of print.