Copyright page states "First edition, 2004" and has full number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Boards are pale yellow with silver lettering on a tan cloth spine. Back of dust jacket has three blurbs praising Housekeeping.
Note: There have been claims that the first edition was published in Canada by HarperCollins because it was issued before the U.S. edition. Our source at Farrar, Straus, Giroux says that both the U.S. and Canadian editions went on sale November 4, 2004, and that Farrar, Straus, and Giroux was the primary publisher because they did the editorial and cover work on both books.
A comparison of the copyright pages from both the Canadian and U.S. editions gives support to the assertion of the U.S. edition as the true first. The Canadian edition copyright page states "First Canadian Edition" while the U.S. edition simply states "First edition, 2004". Additionally, the Canadian edition copyright page states that it was published in Canada by arrangement with Farrar, Straus, Giroux. The Canadian edition copyright page also states that is was printed and bound in the United States, and that is was designed by Jonathan D. Lippincott, who according to Mr. Lippincott's resume was working at Farrar, Straus, Giroux in 2004.
This information combined with the fact that the author is American suggests that the U.S. edition is the true first. We welcome any information that may strengthen or change our view.
Gilead won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Picture of the 2004 first edition dust jacket for Gilead.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for Gilead.
Picture of dust jacket where original $23.00 price is found for Gilead.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Gilead.
Picture of the first edition Farrar, Straus and Giroux boards for Gilead.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Gilead.
This is the copyright page from the Canadian edition which states "First Canadian Edition". This Canadian edition copyright page also states that it was published in Canada by arrangement with Farrar, Straus, Giroux; that it was printed and bound in the United States; and that is was designed by Jonathan D. Lippincott (who worked for Farrar, Straus, Giroux at the time).
Autograph: Signature of Marilynne Robinson.
Other first edition points for books by Marilynne Robinson include: Housekeeping, Home, Lila.
Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate.