First time novelist Maggie Shipstead read from and signed her novel Seating Arrangements (US: Knopf 2012). She appeared with more experienced writer J. Courtney Sullivan and the two had an illuminating and enjoyable conversation. Shipstead, who graduated from the Iowa Writer's Workshop, comes off like a California valley girl, but her writing (the part she read at least) really sounds terrific. It is well written and rather hilarious. Shipstead is one to watch.
Above is the US first edition. The book was released earlier in the UK (Blue Door, 24 May 2012). This release presents some interesting points for collectors, which I will give a few preliminaries about here. First of all, I confirmed with Shipstead that the UK was released earlier than the US, and I asked the author if she had any insight into why this happened. She was out of the loop and isn't quite sure why the book came out overseas first. Perhaps, she suggested, this was an accident. Second, US collectors will note that the book was selected as a "Barnes and Noble Recommends" and because of this, there is a version of the dust jacket floating around out there with an embossment between the title and author's name. I'm guessing the unembossed dj is the true first state.
Here she is signing. Below, a close up of the signature.