First printing of the first YA novel to explore lesbian relationships, a coming-of-age story of a Trinidadian American girl in Harlem.
Near fine in about-fine jacket.
"Later they lay side by side, Ruby in the crook of Daphne's elbow, staring at the red light near the curtained door, reluctant to get up, both listening to their thoughts, silently listening to their thoughts."
Beginning in the late 1960s with John Donovan's I'LL GET THERE. IT BETTER BE WORTH THE TRIP (1969), explorations of homosexuality began to appear in a few YA novels. Guy's work is important among these not only as the first YA book by a Black author to address this, but also for its less disastrous ending. As in adult literature, the earliest LGBTQ+ novels in YA featured not just unhappy endings, but outright tragic ones. Guy's novel (spoilers) does not have a happy ending, but the painful breakup was a major positive step over the more common endings featuring death or other devastation. RUBY was meant as a "companion volume" to Guy's acclaimed YA novel THE FRIENDS (1973), and was followed by EDITH JACKSON (1978), all of which were partly autobiographical. Guy was one of the founders of the Harlem Writers Guild. A landmark in LGBTQ+ literature.
Read more: Haggerty and Zimmerman, Encyclopedia of Lesbian and Gay Histories and Cultures, 298.
New York: The Viking Press, (1976). 9'' x 6''. Original quarter brown cloth, blue paper boards. In original unclipped ($8.95) color pictorial dust jacket designed by Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon. Fore-edge machine deckle. , 217,  pages. Sliver of sunning to board edges.
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