New York: Crown Publishers, 1972. First hardcover edition, preceded by a paperback original published by Chicago Paperback House in 1962. INSCRIBED by the author on the front endpaper, with typical dry wit: "To Palmer [and] Marge Carlson - / Your determination in getting this book almost — almost — matches Frank Mansfield's. My warmest personal regards. Yours, / Charles Willeford / 17 Feb 1973." Scarce signed.
The "Frank Mansfield" to whom Willeford refers is the narrator of "Cockfighter," a disgraced gamecock trainer who has taken a vow of silence (which, at the start of the novel, has lasted over two years) until he wins the elusive Cockfighter of the Year Award.
The author's uncommon second hardcover title. Basis for the 1972 Monte Hellman film, for which Willeford wrote the screenplay and played a key supporting role, starring Warren Oates in a little-known but brilliant performance as Mansfield.
Fine and unread in a Very Good only dust jacket. Owner name matching the inscription on the front pastedown. Jacket is chipped and rubbed, with light toning to the spine, and a sticker shadow to the rear panel.