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The Basketball Diaries

First Edition: Tombouctou Press, 1978

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The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll - First Edition (1978)

The Basketball Diaries
First Edition
By: Jim Carroll
Published: 1978
Publisher: Tombouctou Press (Bolinas, CA)
Format: Paperback
Cover photo: Rosemary Klemfuss

The first edition of The Basketball Diaries, the only one (from what booksellers tell me) that has any value as a collectors' item, has a number of distinctive characteristics.

First, the cover photograph, by Rosemary Klemfuss (aka Rosemary Carroll), is in black and white with silver lettering. The back cover offers blurbs by William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Patti Smith, and Rolling Stone.

Second, this edition is the only one which contains the sculpture-images by Marc Blane (aka "Mark Clutcher" in the diaries) on the title page and at the beginning of each section.

Third, this edition includes a preface by Tom Clark entitled "Rimbaud Rambles On: By Way of a Preface to The Diaries."

Fourth, in the text, numbers are written as numbers rather than spelled out: "The Biddy League is for anyone 12 yrs. old or under. I'm actually 13 but my coach. . . ."

Fifth, this edition includes an author's note that reads:

Just to clear a few matters up pertaining to these

I was 12 yrs. old when I began writing it down, it
continued until I was 15 nearing 16.

"Did it all really happen to you?" I get that one put
to me often. Well . . .

To answer that simply, they are as much fiction
as biography. They were as much made up as
they were lived out. It all happened. None of it
happened. It was me. Now it's you.

"Nothing is true; Everything is permitted
Hassan Sabah

See Also

The Basketball Diaries page


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