Sixty years ago, Peter S. Beagle’s A Fine and Private Place was first published in hardcover by Viking Press which simply says “First published in 1960” on the copyright page. (ISFDB doesn’t list an exact date either. However, it was mentioned twice in the New York Times in May 1960.) Clute at the Encyclopaedia of Fantasy calls it “a Supernatural Fiction in chamber-opera form“.
Published before he turned twenty one, it’s been in print since, along with The Last Unicorn. It is a very well written novel for a first time author. Though it won no Awards itself, it certainly contributed towards his World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement and Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master awards.
Charles de Lint says of it that, “A Fine and Private Place is just as wonderful as I remembered it to be: beautifully written, the characters warmly drawn, the pages filled with conversations that range the gamut of the human condition. In these days of everything coming in quick sound bites, at a faster and faster pace, Beagleís novel might seem quaint as it takes its time to tell its story. But you know, thereís a reason that people still read Dickens and Austin, and there’s a reason they’ll appreciate this book: quality counts.“