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Book Description

UNCORRECTED PROOF COPY OF RUSHDIE’S THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET WITH SUBTITLE ‘A TALE OF LOVE, DEATH, AND ROCK ’N’ ROLL’ OMITTED FROM FIRST EDITION

Octavo (233 x 154mm), pp. [9 (half-title, author’s works, title, imprint, dedication, verso blank, quotation, verso blank, contents)], [1 (blank)], [1]-575, [577 (‘Acknowledgements’)], 578 (blank but for page number and headline ‘Acknowledgements’), [4 (blank ll.)]. (Very light marginal browning, as often, due to poor paper stock.) Original printed wrappers. (Extremities very lightly rubbed and bumped.) A very good copy.
Dealer Notes
First edition, uncorrected proof copy, marked ‘a Jonathan Cape uncorrected proof’ on the upper wrapper. ‘In this remaking of the myth of Orpheus, Rushdie tells the story of Vina Apsara, a pop star, and Ormus Cama, an extraordinary songwriter and musician, who captivate and change the world through their music and their romance. Beginning in Bombay in the fifties, moving to London in the sixties, and New York for the last quarter century, the novel pulsates with a half-century of music and celebrates the power of rock ’n’ roll’ (www.salmanrushdie.com).

Hermione Lee considered The Ground Beneath her Feet ‘part rock-opera, part Indo-classical myth, part love-story, part surreal space-fiction, part seismological meditation’, concluding: ‘[w]e have to create our own alternative universes, our own answers to what “shouldn’t be this way”: in this case, out of music, and love. It is a great late twentieth century humanist message, arrived at out of a fierce awareness of loss, pain, fear and grief’ (The Guardian, 28 March 1999). While not shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize, The Ground Beneath her Feet won the Eurasian section of the Commonwealth Prize.

Proof copies of this title are much scarcer than the first edition, and this proof – with a draft blurb and information about the provisional price and publication details on the rear wrapper – shows some variations from the final publication. For example, neither the entry ‘Acknowledgements’ listed in the contents nor the pages set aside for them (pp. [577]-578) appear in the published version, but acknowledgements for the lyrics quoted in the text are added to the verso of the title-page in the published text, while the dedication changes from ‘For Milan Rushdie’ to ‘For Milan’ in the published text. Similarly, the upper panel of the dustwrapper of the first edition would combine the neon harp from the proof’s upper wrapper and the neon author’s name from the proof’s lower wrapper, although with a different colour scheme. On the proof copy’s upper wrapper the subtitle ‘A Tale of Love, Death, and Rock ’n’ Roll’ appears below the title, but there is no subtitle on the dustwrapper of the published edition.
Author RUSHDIE, (Ahmed) Salman
Date 1999
Publisher London: Jonathan Cape

Price: £19.50

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