The Sun in the Sands

Hardback, Faber & Faber, first edition, 1945

Book condition: lacking the dust wrapper, covers worn, spine split and frontispiece missing. A reading copy only.
Price: £1.00


The publisher's blurb repeats the author's introduction to the book: 'I wrote my story of the post-war years to 1924 while sitting in the sun of Florida, among the slash-pines and the palmetto grasses, and at night in the room of a semi-derelict hotel at the edge of the swamp, seeing through the gauze of the open window fireflies among the treetops, while the whippoorwill uttered his startlingly beautiful cry against the stars. That was in 1934, a decade after the events described in the book had passed from my outer but not from my inner life. The book was finished in May of that year, in the Brevoort Hotel in New York, when it was shown to a publisher, who thought it was "dated", as there was no interest remaining in the post-war years. The story was too far back in Time, and "too English" for the American public. So the book was put away, and the years covered it.


'I laid down my pen and took to the plough, and now in 1944 my corn is ripening in the goldbeaterskin heat of summer, in the crinkling heat in which the hammers beat all day, far in the candent sky, as the American bombers fly in the east. The sky is blue glass glittering with flaws as it trundles round the sun; and thus the story of a young man from the war, aspiring to the vision of a new world, and seeking clarity beyond the confusions of human emotions, may be timely.'


(For a further consideration of the book and the background to the writing of it, see Anne Williamson's The Sun in the Sands.)