After Claude - Iris Owens 1973 - Farrar, New York - First Edition Rare in first edition, even more so in dust jacket, and here you have a fine and signed first edition.

Cult classic and the first of only two books published under the author’s own name. The rest of her career was spent writing pornography as ‘Harriet Daimler’ for the Olympia Press in Paris.

After Claude’ features Harriet one of the first anti-heroines, it is ‘a foulmouthed comic tour de force, still capable of offending the offendable and casting a blue-streaked spell of hilarity over everyone else.’ [Gerald Howard]

There is too much written about Iris Owens and ‘After Claude’ to do either justice in this short note, below are a few short reviews, and extracts from articles.

If there’s one thing on this earth that irritates me, it’s when a dumpy, frigid, former nymphomaniac assumes that my tongue is hanging out, thirsting for marital bliss.
  ‘New Yorker Iris Owens, who died in 2008, published only two novels under own name but many more as Harriet Daimler, purveyor of pornographic rape fantasies for the Parisian erotic imprint, Olympia. After Claude, which came out in 1973, was the first of her "legitimate" books, which means there is much speculative discussion of the heroine's rape fantasies but no actual depictions of the event. Harriet has been kicked out of her French lover's Greenwich Village apartment on the fairly reasonable basis that she is an acid-tongued slugabed who does nothing but sit around watching quiz shows and insulting his friends. She finds a berth in the notorious Chelsea Hotel, where a stoned guru admits her to his bohemian harem by means of a staggeringly un-erotic initiation ritual ("Keep it up with the left nipple, he directed.").’ – Alfred Hickling, 2011.

A few shorter reviews:
‘Like our best women writers (Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates), Owens is not afraid to take risks... Owens is a highly intelligent writer and a fiendishly sardonic one—to the extent that her outrageous wit rescues her freaky Jewish anti-heroine from becoming a pain in the Asphalt Jungle. On every page wisecracks explode like anti-personnel mines. We laugh, nervously perhaps, but often.’ – Newsweek.

‘I haven’t read a more wittily offensive serious novel lately. There aren’t many literary heroines, among the practical types and crazy sisters looking for a place to live in this world, who transcend social and critical pieties in the overwhelming fact of themselves. Clarissa, Emma and Cathy are among the ancestors of Harriet.’ – Leonard Michaels.

‘One of the earliest portraits of the female antihero, a sort of distaff Notes From Underground. It was very funny.’ – Anatole Broyard,
The New York Times.

‘Barbed, bitchy and hilariously sour.’ – Kenneth Tynan.

‘Spiky with mockery, carbon steel wit and mature observation.’ –
The Village Voice.

‘Novels like
Fear of Flying and After Claude created a fresh voice that made us want to laugh out loud, pass the book around, read funny bits to our friends.’ – Morris Dickstein, The New York Times.

Extract from an article on ‘After Claude’ by Corinne Neary on the NY Public Library Website:-
It's easy to draw comparisons between the fictional Harriet and Iris Owens: both were from Brooklyn, and returned to New York after spending some years in Paris. Owens supported herself while she lived in Paris by writing erotic fiction under the name Harriet Daimler. After coming back to New York, she lived for years in an apartment on Cornelia Street in Greenwich Village, which at some points in her life she rarely left. In a lengthy and fascinating interview with the writer Stephen Koch, he describes his complicated friendship with Owens, her "wide sadistic streak," her ability to manipulate her friends, and above all, "the spell" that she cast over people.

When After Claude was published again as a NYRB classic in 2010, Emily Prager described in the introduction the difficulties in maintaining a friendship with Owens. She had a long list of falling outs with a long list of well-known people, "including Samuel Beckett, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Ad Reinhardt, Rudy Wurlitzer, and Robert Mapplethorpe." She played poker with Woody Allen, who may have based Anjelica Huston's character in Manhattan Murder Mystery on her. Koch describes her intelligence, her beauty, and her ability to manipulate and even humiliate the people around her.

[The referred to interview with Stephe Koch can be found here]

Octavo (book size 20.9x14.3cm), pp. [8] 206 [2]. In publisher’s orange cloth, spine lettered and decorated in black. Dust jacket, slightly shorter than the book, which was the general practice at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, priced ‘$6.95’ to upper corner of front flap.
  Condition: Fine, in fine dust jacket but for a vertical crease along edge of front flap.   Ref: 111099   Price: HK$ 8,000