New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, Publishers, c.1958. Richard Bergere. Book Club Edition [#592 on flap]. Boards. Thick 8vo (8 1/2" x 5 3/4"), pale yellow boards, Mylar-protected pictorial dust jacket (unclipped), ATreeGIB illustrated with drawings by Richard Bergere, (pp.1-368: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn); ([369-373], 374-733 pages: Maggie-Now). Fine / Fine. Item #2425
UNCOMMON & EXCEPTIONAL EDITION: clean, tight, bright with an EXCELLENT dust jacket (with slightly faded photo of author on verso). A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN bears copyright dates of "1943, 1947"; MAGGIE-NOW is copyrighted "1958"--hence our provisional dating.
Betty Smith, née Elisabeth Wehner (1896 – 1972), was an American author who was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her family moved several times during her childhood to various tenements before settling in a tenement at the top floor of 702 Grand Street that served as the basis for her most famous work, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943). Her biographer reports that she was obliged to quit school by her mother to help support the family, as her alcoholic father worked only sporadically. Smith then became an active member of a social service center called the School Settlement Association, and it was likely there rather than her apartment that the tree grew which gave name to her famous book.
She teamed with George Abbott to write the book for the 1951 musical adaptation of the same name. Throughout her life, Smith worked as a dramatist, receiving many awards and fellowships including the Rockefeller Fellowship and the Dramatists Guild Fellowship for her work in drama. Her other novels include Tomorrow Will Be Better (1947), Maggie-Now (1958) and Joy in the Morning (1963).