Steinbeck and beat generation in the groove, May 19 at PBA Galleries

Elaine Steinbeck's copy of ‘East of Eden’ with a three-page autograph letter signed by her, est. $15,000-$25,000

Elaine Steinbeck’s copy of ‘East of Eden’ with a three-page autograph letter signed by her, est. $15,000-$25,000

BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries will conduct an auction of Fine Literature – With the Beats, Bukowski & the Counterculture on Thursday, May 19. The sale comprises more than 480 lots of fine literature and ephemera, featuring scarce works from the counterculture and the Beat Generation, as well as a large selection from Charles Bukowski, including signed typescript poems. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The May 19 sale also includes important works by Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck and other major figures of the 20th century. High points of 19th-century literature are represented by important editions from Thoreau, Wordsworth and Whitman. The sale also features a wide selection of fantasy and science fiction, with works by Frank Herbert, J.R.R. Tolkien and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Particularly scarce are two volumes from the Anne of Green Gables series in early dust jackets, one with a rare inscription by L.M. Montgomery.

Major lots of the sale include Elaine Steinbeck’s copy of East of Eden with a three-page autograph letter signed by Elaine Steinbeck, attesting this to be the first copy from the publisher. It carries an estimate of $15,000-$25,000. Also present is Anne of Green Gables inscribed and with an early pictorial dust jacket; the eleventh impression is inscribed by L.M. Montgomery on the front free endpaper as well. Its estimate is $10,000-$15,000.

Among the several works by Stephen King on offer is a great copy of the very scarce limited edition of the first volume of King’s Dark Tower series: The Gunslinger. This one of 500 copies is signed by Stephen King and Michael Whelan on the limitation page. It is estimated at $7,000-$10,000. Also included in the sale lineup are copies of The Shining, Carrie, and The Stand.

‘Complete Poems & Prose of Walt Whitman 1855-1888,’ signed by its author, est. $5,000-$8,000

‘Complete Poems & Prose of Walt Whitman 1855-1888,’ signed by its author, est. $5,000-$8,000

The poetry section of the sale features a tome dubbed the Complete Poems & Prose of Walt Whitman, 1855-1888. It is an authenticated and personal book, handled by Whitman and signed by him on the title-page of Leaves of Grass. Furthermore, it is inscribed by his literary executor, Horace Traubell. The Whitman is estimated at $5,000-$8,000. Another unquestionable prize is an increasingly scarce limited signed edition of T.S. Eliot’s first book for Faber and Gwyer, a volume gathering his poems from 1909 to 1925. It is one of 85 copies, signed by Eliot at the limitation, and estimated at $4,000-$6,000.

Group of 37 issues of Kaliflower, est. $4,000-$6,000

Group of 37 issues of Kaliflower, est. $4,000-$6,000

Completing the sale highlights is a set of 37 issues of Kaliflower, a nice run of this important counterculture publication, with copies in any condition rarely seen on the market. The group carries an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.

For more information about upcoming sales, to schedule a preview or phone bidding for a future auction, please contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or


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