Metroland (McGraw-Hill, 1987)

Notes on this edition: Metroland. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1987. Pp. 176.

Following the critical success of Julian Barnes’s novel Flaubert’s Parrot, McGraw-Hill published a series of paperbacks to promote his backlist. After releasing Flaubert’s Parrot in paperback (1985), McGraw-Hill issued Barnes’s second novel Before She Met Me (1986), followed by Metroland (1987).

Pictured with the first edition paperback is a “library bound” (or “permabound”) copy discovered in a bookshop in St. Louis, Missouri. Libraries frequently used such services to bind together volumes of journals or magazines for long-term storage or to turn their paperback editions into longer-lasting hardbacks. This copy has no library markings, however, which is unusual, as it suggests a private collector paid for the binding or that it was a sample copy direct from the binder.