SELF PORTRAIT WITH BIRDS: SOME SEMI-ORNITHOLOGICAL RECOLLECTIONS
Dallas: Chama Press, 1991. 36pp. Designed by Priscilla Spitler of BookLab in Austin. Wood engravings (now a rare print medium) by John DePol. Quarter bound in forest green leather with the title stamped in 23k gold on the spine in the publisher’s slipcase. First of this edition, limited to 300 copies. SIGNED by John Graves. Laid-in is the publication announcement. Very fine in an equally nice slipcase. A sumptuous volume, in its own right, it was the winner of the third annual Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. Don’t be mislead by the title, this book isn’t so much about bird watching as it is about interesting characters who happened to have some connection with birds. Graves recounts his early experiences bird hunting with two uncles, ornithological expeditions with “Horrible Doctor” (a prominent Houston physician) and finally on his “hard scrabble” farm in Texas. It was orginally published in a different form and under the title, Of Birds and Texas. If you enjoy John Graves or just good writing in a beautiful format, this book should be in your library.