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It Had Wings by Allan Gurganus
A short story also available in Mr. Gurganus's collection "White People". It Had Wings tells what happens when an angel falls hurt into an older woman's back yard. It is stunning what a gifted author can do with a few words (I think in text-only form the story runs about 3 pages) to show the extraordinary depths in our "ordinary" lives.... Buy a reading copy from Amazon.com
  White People
     
Horse and Buggy Press Limited Wraps edition, Date published 1997
(A description from Frank Parker, aneighbor of the author, who produced this edition):<br> It Had Wings is a gem of the first order, a superbly crafted masterwork of finely honed lyrical prose which easily ranks as a modern classic. This wonderful fantasy first appeared in the author's prize winning collection of short fiction, White People (Knopf, 1991). My initial reading of the story convinced me that it would be an excellent choice for special publication in a fine press keepsake edition. And so it came to be. In early 1997, Allan Gurganus agreed to allow my bookshop to produce this new edition of Wings. Throughout the summer, the author worked with Dave Wofford of the Horse & Buggy Press on the design and creation of the chapbook. The result you see here: Allan's own illustrations, especially prepared for this edition, and his new afterword "The Story of the Story" (recounting the difficult genesis of Wings), combined with the original text of the story in a lovingly produced masterpiece of letterpress printing. Excuse if you will my enthusiastic description here: I am obviously proud of this book and honored by my association with the two artists who created it, my friends Allan Gurganus and Dave Wofford. First Edition thus, signed, with original illustrations and a new afterword by the author. Hand sewn binding in blue inked hand-made paper wraps; the twenty-six page text unpaginated, letter-press printed on a fine cream acid-free heavy paper stock. Produced by the Horse & Buggy Press (Raleigh, NC) in 1997 for The Readery Bookshop. Published in a limited edition of 335 copies, as follows: 300 hand-numbered copies signed by the author; 26 additional copies, signed and lettered A - Z, issued in a handmade clamshell box combining the chapbook and a signed compact disc of both the author's reading and the musical performance of the story; and a further 9 copies of the combined book and cd edition reserved for private distribution. A further comment from Frank: I remember when I first saw the final product - the little chapbook after months of work and delays and "cost overruns" and the whole bit; my hands were shaking as I began to number them, and later, around 2 am, I took the lot over to Alan's house and stayed there most of the night, tending the fire in his fireplace and playing classical music on his system while he worked on signing them all (300 plus the 35 in the boxed sets, and the cds...) ... the unveiling of the work was planned for a celebration/open house the very next day, early December, at my book shop. Suffice it to say that both Alan and I were a bit ragged at that event, but he was superb, and did a wonderful reading of Wings, just as on the CD, which moved me to tears. I love that work. The story "means" what you would like it to "mean" - I've heard a multitude of interpretations, yet Alan himself, when prompted with a question seeking his own "meaning" in the story, simply smiles and shrugs, and says to take from it what you will. He is a superb craftsman of words, and a wonderful human being, quite likely the warmest and most compassionate individual I will ever have the privilege of knowing. Search for other copies
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  The copy here for sale is letter #U of the combined book and compact disc edition, only 26 of which were made available to the public. The CD itself is signed by the composer, singer, pianist, and author, and is housed in a letterpress printed protective sleeve. Both the chapbook and CD are in the original clamshell box, beautifully bound in blue cloth with a gilt-titled leather label.   As New $ 500.00 Add to cart
     
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