Copyright page has number line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1". Boards are gray (sometimes described as light blue) with black lettering on a light green cloth spine (sometimes described as aqua or turquoise). ISBN is printed on the back board. Back of dust jacket has 7 reviews for the author's first book, Postcards. Reviews are by Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Booklist, Providence Journal-Bulletin, Vermont Sunday Magazine, and The Washington Times.
A promotional advance excerpt of the first edition was published 8 months prior to the first edition. It was a thin 45 page softcover book containing only the first four chapters of the novel. The back states "Promotional copy. Not for sale". Many, but not all, were signed by the author. The pictorial wraps of the advance excerpt is very similar to what became the first edition dust jacket.
The Shipping News won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award.
Picture of the 1993 first edition dust jacket for The Shipping News.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for The Shipping News.
Picture of dust jacket where original $20.00 price is found for The Shipping News.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The Shipping News.
Picture of the first edition Charles Scribner's Sons boards for The Shipping News.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of The Shipping News.
Picture of the first edition title page for The Shipping News.
The back board of the first edition of The Shipping News has the ISBN on the bottom corner near the spine.
The first edition, the advance excerpt of The Shipping News (on the left) is thin comprising only 4 chapters as compared to the full first edition (on the right) which has 39 chapters.
The copyright page of the advance excerpt has a fully number line and a copyright page of 1992. By comparison, the first edition has a copyright date of 1993.
The advance excerpt has a letter dated July 2, 1992 from the publisher, Barbara Grossman. The letter begins: "The fine old art of storytelling is central to the business of writing fiction, but it suffers from neglect and is rarely practiced with panache and skill. Luckily E. Annie Proulx can swap tales with the best of them."
The back of the advance excerpt has a single review of The Shipping News from Fred Busch of the Chicago Tribune. The review was not used on the first edition. All the first edition reviews were for the author's previous novel, Postcards.
The title page from this advance excerpt was signed by E. Annie Proulx.
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.