Lajos Zilahy. Two Prisoners. [Két fogoly]. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1931. First U. S. edition. Octavo (8 x 5.375 inches; 202 x 135 mm.). [2, half-title (verso blank)], [2, title-leaf, copyright on verso], [2, dedication (verso blank)], [2, fly title (verso blank)], 504 pages. Publisher's grayish-blue cloth, spine and front board lettered in black, front board decoratively stamped in black; all edges of the text block trimmed (top probably stained, but now too faded to tell); dark green coated endpapers; in the original dust jacket, priced $2.50, with an exceptional cover illustration by Backus. Spine slightly askew; backstrip faintly tanned with some light; spine ends with a shallow crimp; top edge of the boards and backstrip faintly foxed; corners very slightly bent. Text block just barely sagging; a couple title spot stains on the top of the test block and occasionally in the top margin; tiny closed tear to the top of the leaf with pages 367-368, folded over with a short diagonal crease; previous ownership signature on the half-title. A nice, very good copy in a good jacket, worn at the edges with chipping at the spine ends and fold edges, barely affecting any text; sizable split (about three inches) extending from the bottom of the front panel, addressed by an old tape mend on the verso; few minor closed tears and marginal creases; spine panel very faintly faded; general light rubbing and a couple small bruises. Not for the squeemish, but still relatively handsome. Uncommon in jacket.
In 1927, Zilahy followed up his Vojirics Prize (?) winning play, The Sun Is Shining, with "his greatest work, the novel Két Fogoly, The Two Prisoners, which has been translated into French and German and now appears as his first book to be done in English" (rear flap of the dust jacket; please note, after a brief web search, we couldn't find any information on the Vojirics Prize, but a Doubleday copy writer called it the Hungarian Pulitzer). A dramatic Great War novel, partially set in a Siberian prison camp. Adapted by the author in 1937 for a film directed by Steve Sekely (who later found regular work in Hollywood and was responsible for the solid noir thriller, Hollow Triumph). (#10037).