Published 3 May 2010
in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, and New York City.

First publication of an original short story by Ellen Kushner.
Original illustrations and decorations by Thomas Canty.
6 x 9 inches, 32 pp.

First issue, 21 copies hand bound in iridescent sooty red Japanese cloth with Ann Muir marbled endsheets, signed by the author and with the folding plate signed by the artist.
A few copies were offered with an inserted original pencil drawing by Thomas Canty for the book. Sold out.

Trade issue, 400 copies, paper covers (front cover design, above, is a detail of an anatomical plate from the 1579 Plantin Valverde-Vesalius).
ISBN 0-9764660-6-6 ; ISBN 13 978-0-9764660-6-2. Sold out.

Ten copies of the plate, unfolded, signed by the artist, are offered for sale : price $100.00 plus $15 packing & postage.
Seven (7) copies still available.


Inquiries to :
Henry Wessells
P.O. Box 43072, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043-0072 USA
Electronym :


The Man with the Knives
Ellen Kushner



A superb and dramatic story that concludes the events begun in her acclaimed novel, Swordspoint, A Melodrama of Manners  (1987).

On Swordspoint  :

“ A glorious thing, the book we might have had if Noel Coward had written a vehicle for Errol Flynn. It’s wicked and visual and witty, and it pulls you in like the doorman of a Bourbon Street bar. ”

— Gene Wolfe

Ellen Kushner is the author of Swordspoint , The Fall of the Kings  (with Delia Sherman), The Privilege of the Sword (2006), and numerous other works, and the longtime host of public radio’s Sound & Spirit .

Thomas Canty is a brilliant and acclaimed fantasy illustrator, a two-time winner of the World Fantasy Award. His art has been associated with Ellen Kushner’s work since 1987, when his striking cover launched the original U.S. publication of Swordspoint  by the then-unknown author.

On The Man with the Knives :
“ a poem, a song, a spell, an artifact . . . the spare, inferential narrative, small bits that move from Alec to Sofia, images, recollections, gestures, little revelations that lead us through a much larger story than we find on the pages. ”

— R.M. Tilendis, for the Green Man Review

“ a whole world of unspoken feeling and meaning [. . .] a past that Kushner tenderly yet unflinchingly unfolds for her readers  ”

— Paul Witcover, for Realms of Fantasy

 beautiful and heartbreaking all at once 

— C. D. Covington

Click for images of the title page, the first page of the text, and the large folding plate by Thomas Canty.

Temporary Culture logo (sumac & fingerprint)