The Cubical City - Janet Flanner (Gen 1926 - G.P. Putnam&rsquo, New York &ndash - First Edition First edition of the author’s only novel a bright sharp example in the rare dust jacket.

An extraordinary—and memorable—glimpse of the young artist in New York during the Jazz Age, and ‘considered by literary scholars to be one of the first examples of modernist lesbian literature’.

‘From the 1920s to the 1970s, Janet Flanner kept Americans abreast of the goings-on in Paris with a biweekly New Yorker column written under the name Genêt. But before she became one of the country’s most famous expats, she lived among the artists and writers of the Algonquin Round Table. Flanner shares a vivid depiction of the New York she knew in this tale of a young woman’s self-discovery.

Having left Ohio in search of liberation, Delia Poole struggles to find her place in the big city. After getting work as a costume designer for musical revues, she and her dear friend Nancy are finally finding happiness on their own terms. But nothing is simple. From her adoring suitor, Paul, to her widowed mother’s decision to move to New York, Delia must grapple with expectations, responsibilities, and her own uncertainty.

The Cubical City is Janet Flanner’s only published novel. Though homosexuality is never overtly expressed, it is considered by literary scholars to be one of the first examples of modernist lesbian literature’ [Open Road Media]
  Janet Flanner’s The Cubical City and the Life She Left Behind’ - Rai Peterson, Ball State University [June 2019]
‘Reading Janet Flanner’s novel,
The Cubical City (1926), as a lesbian modernist novel provides insight, not only into the author’s personal turmoil around coming out, but into broader work on the lesbian identity that was evolving during the modernist period in transatlantic literature. Flanner’s novel includes minor lesbian characters and sub-plots, yet on the surface it seems to be a heteronormative romance in which a promiscuous female character pursues marriage with an eligible bachelor. Furthermore, the novel subtly explores coming out issues between mothers and daughters, a fraught topic that has not been written about frequently, especially during the early twentieth century. While Flanner’s protagonist is trapped into marriage, Flanner herself escaped a similar fate by fleeing to Paris as an expatriate.

Recent critical attention has shed light on lesbian roman à clef works by English and American expatriates published in 1928, including Djuna Barnes’ Ladies Almanack, Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. This reading of
The Cubicle City locates it as foundational to lesbian modernist novels and as an artifact which demonstrates the freedom that transnationality conferred upon Flanner, yet was denied her protagonist’

‘Occasionally there appears a first novel which refuses to fit into any of the stock descriptive categories that the publisher usually finds serviceable. Such a novel is ‘
The Cubical City,’ an intense, vital story of Manhattan which follows none of the conventional fiction lines. Miss Flanner has created for herself a stylistic idiom that is highly individual, and complete originality marks the unfolding of her narrative’ [publisher's blurb on the inside front flap].

Janet Flanner (1892-1978) was an American writer and journalist who began her career as the Paris correspondent of
The New Yorker magazine in 1925, composing evocative and cogent dispatches from Europe under her pseudonym ‘Genêt’; her ‘Letters from Paris’ continued to appear in the magazine until 1975.

Provenance: From the personal library of American writer Larry McMurtry in Archer City, with his iconic bookplate featuring the horseshoe-shaped brand his father and grandfather used on the McMurtry cattle.

Small octavo (book size 19.4x13.6cm), pp. [4] 426. In publisher’s black cloth, spine lettered inn gilt, upper board with gilt lettering enclosed in double gilt filet and with gilt blocked tower vignette, top edge tinted red, pale blue speckled endpapers, illustrated with black New York skyline matching the dust jacket illustrations. Dust jacket priced ‘$2.00’ to lower edge of front flap.
  Condition: Near fine, light wear to edges and several small stains to rear panel, in very good dust jacket, with a few patches of degradation to the rear panel and closed tears to tail of spine.   Ref: 111608   Price: HK$ 17,000