Catalog 106, N-P
212. NABOKOV, Vladimir. Nabokov's Quartet. (NY): Phaedra, 1966. Four short stories. Juliar's Variant a, with green endpapers. Mild edge-sunning; else fine in a very good dust jacket with two small chips.
213. -. Same title. Juliar's Variant b, with white endpapers. Mild edge-sunning to boards; else fine in a dust jacket slightly rubbed on the rear panel.
214. NABOKOV, Vladimir. Ada. NY: McGraw-Hill (1969). A massive novel, more than 10 years in the writing and running to almost 600 pages. Slight fading to top stain; else fine in a fine dust jacket.
215. NABOKOV, Vladimir. Anniversary Notes. (n.p.): Northwestern University Press, 1970. A sixteen page stapled pamphlet published as a supplement to TriQuarterly 17, which was dedicated to Nabokov on the occasion of his seventieth birthday. This pamphlet is Nabokov's responses to all the articles therein. Near fine.
216. (NABOKOV, Vladimir). "Lolita" and "On a Book Entitled Lolita" in The Anchor Review 2. Garden City: Doubleday Anchor, 1957. Nearly 90 pages of Lolita, which had been published in Paris at that time but would not be published in the U.S. for another two years, followed by commentary by the author. Spine-creased and faded; very good in wrappers.
217. NAIPAUL, V.S. A House for Mr. Biswas. NY: McGraw-Hill (1961). The first American edition, printed from British sheets. Considered by critics his first "serious" novel, after several comedies of manners; this book is his first to grapple with the themes that mark his later writing -- cultural dislocation and alienation and the struggle of an individual in the face of such large historical forces. Trace shelfwear to the board edges; else fine in a near fine dust jacket with minor edgewear at the spine extremities. Although we don't have print run figures for this title, the American edition seems to be considerably scarcer than even the uncommon British edition. A very nice copy, and seldom seen thus.
218. NAIPAUL, V.S. In a Free State. (London): Deutsch (1971). A collection of three related pieces, bearing on issues of freedom and colonialism in Africa and combining fiction and nonfiction, the author's journal entries. Winner of the Booker Prize. Minor foxing to page edges and offsetting to endpapers. Near fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket.
219. NAIPAUL, V.S. The Overcrowded Barracoon. (London): Deutsch (1972). The uncorrected proof copy of this collection of short nonfiction pieces, mostly from magazines and newspapers. Many of the pieces deal with his usual subject matter -- colonialism and dislocation in the Third World -- and there are also a number of essays on literary subjects. One of his scarcer titles even in the trade edition, the proof is quite uncommon; this is the only copy we've seen. Faintly spine-sunned; else fine in wrappers.
220. NORMAN, Howard. Kiss in the Hotel Joseph Conrad. NY: Summit (1989). The second book of fiction and first collection of stories, by the author of The Museum Guard, The Northern Lights and The Bird Artist, among others. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a ibt of dust soiling on the rear panel.
221. OATES, Joyce Carol. "The Triumph of the Spider Monkey" in The Sunday Sentinel Magazine. "(Los Angeles): (Morning News Association)" [Yellow Springs: Antioch Review, 1974]. Newspaper tabloid format, presented as a Bonus Issue of the Sunday Sentinel magazine, devoted entirely to Joyce Carol Oates's interview with Bobbie Gotteson, a child molester and mass murderer. In fact, the whole is a piece of Oates's fiction. This printing was suppressed by the college before being publicly released and reportedly most of the print run was destroyed; a trade edition was issued in book form by Black Sparrow Press two years later but the original edition, in this format, carries an extra commentary about the nature of information dissemination and the trivialization of evil in a commercial media environment: Gotteson's confessions are surrounded by the kind of self-help ads typical in tabloid newspapers, providing an eerie context for the horrors he describes; media critics in the 1970s coined a term -- "repressive desublimation" -- for this kind of profound revelation of explosive information couched in the comforting context of the familiar and the banal. Folio format; 16 pages. Fine.
222. OATES, Joyce Carol. The Profane Art. NY: Dutton (1983). The uncorrected proof copy of this collection of essays and reviews, including "John Updike's American Comedies" and an introduction by the author. Other subjects include Flannery O'Connor, Simone Weil, and a piece on the images of women in the writings of Yeats, Lawrence and Faulkner. Production crease to spine; else fine in wrappers. One of her scarcer proofs, in our experience.
223. O'BRIAN, Patrick. Men-of-War. NY: Norton (1995). The uncorrected proof copy of the first American edition of this nonfiction overview of life in the 18th century British navy, intended in part as a companion volume to his highly regarded Aubrey/Maturin series of historical novels. Small thin quarto, heavily illustrated (the proof reproductions are poor quality). Fine in wrappers.
224. O'BRIEN, Tim. Going After Cacciato. (NY): Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence (1978). His third book, a magical realist novel about a recruit who decides to simply walk away from the Vietnam war and go to Paris, overland. Winner of the National Book Award and one of the literary classics of the Vietnam war. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket with trace edgewear. A very nice copy of this book, free of the usual spine-fading, and increasingly scarce thus.
225. O'BRIEN, Tim. In the Lake of the Woods. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. A novel involving a Vietnam vet who rises to a position of public prominence but carries a secret that threatens to undo his accomplishment. Named best novel of the year by Time magazine. This copy is inscribed by the author to his parents: "To Mom + Dad,/ on your 50th anniversary,/ Love,/ Tim." Slight spine slant; near fine in a dust jacket creased on the front flap; else fine. A wonderful family association copy.
226. O'BRIEN, Tim. Tomcat in Love. NY: Broadway Books (1998). His most recent novel, which departs completely from the Vietnam-inflected stories he has written in the past, and for which he developed a reputation as perhaps the finest chronicler of the moral dimensions of that war in fiction. Fine in a fine dust jacket, and signed by the author.
227. O'HARA, Frank. Meditations in an Emergency. NY: Grove (1957). The first major collection of poems by the legendary writer who, together with John Ashbery and Kenneth Koch, defined the "New York school" of poetry in the Fifties. The New York poets created and legitimized a kind of writing free from the constraints of literary strictures and became heroes to the later Beat generation who seized that freedom and exploited it to the fullest. O'Hara and Ashbery were part of an art crowd that included such soon-to-be-luminaries as Larry Rivers, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jackson Pollock, and others. This copy, one of 75 copies of the limited edition, is inscribed by O'Hara to noted composer John Gruen, another in the circle of artists on the New York scene in the Fifties, who wrote two highly praised memoirs of that period. In his book The Party's Over Now, Gruen recounts the pivotal role that O'Hara played in that circle -- "he sort of impinged himself on all of our psyches...there are at least forty people who could say Frank O'Hara was his best friend..." He also recounts the circumstance of the presentation of this particular volume, and the inscription O'Hara wrote when Gruen asked him to inscribe it: "For John -/ looking forward to/ our first recital in/ Town Hall and later/ at the Sands-/ Frank." O'Hara was referring to the collaborations he and Gruen had been working on, which Gruen explains: "There was a poem I especially liked...[and] I decided to have a piano roll be the accompaniment... I asked Frank and Jane Freilicher to read the poem together. I assigned each specific lines to read and the result seemed wonderfully outre." Freilicher was one of O'Hara's closest friends, and was the dedicatee of this volume. This copy has the poem in question, "To the Film Industry in Crisis," marked in pencil by Gruen with "J"'s and "F"'s and brackets indicating the beginning and ending of each of the sections that Jane and Frank were to read, plus other marginal notes by Gruen pertaining to the collaboration. A unique and historic copy of a rare book by one of the most influential poets of a generation. Signatures loosened and binding worn; a good copy in a worn original slipcase, housed in an attractive custom clamshell box. Together with a fine review copy of Gruen's above-mentioned book, The Party's Over Now (NY: Viking, 1972).
228. O'HARA, John. Hope of Heaven. NY: Harcourt, Brace (1938). The fourth book by the author of Appoitnment in Samarra and Butterfield 8, among others. Very good, lacking the dust jacket.
229. PAYNE, David. Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984. The uncorrected proof copy of his first novel, winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award. This is the second issue proof, in tan wrappers and with a Tom Robbins blurb on the front cover. An earlier proof, in blue wrappers, lacked the Robbins blurb. Signed by the author. Sticker removal mark on front cover and crease to crown; near fine in wrappers.
230. PAYNE, David. Ruin Creek. NY: Doubleday (1993). The advance reading copy of the third book by the award-winning author of Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street and Early From the Dance. This is the second issue, and the only one that was distributed; an early ARC was suppressed as a result of printing errors. Near fine in wrappers, and signed by the author.
231. PIRSIG, Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. NY: Morrow, 1974. Pirsig's first book, an acclaimed and bestselling inquiry into values and examination of Quality, and a title that is difficult to find in nice condition owing to its "perfectbound" construction. One page corner turned, slight pull to the text block (as is quite common for this title), and a tiny pink spot at the lower outer page corners; near fine in a near fine dust jacket. An attractive copy of one of the key books of the 1970s.
232. PLATH, Sylvia. Sculptor. (n.p.): Grecourt Review (1959). Her first separate publication, an offprint of her one poem in the Grecourt Review, written for the artist and sculptor Leonard Baskin, who was a close friend of Plath when she lived in Massachusetts. Precedes A Winter Ship and The Colossus by one year. One of only 25 copies produced for the private use of the author. Easily the rarest of Plath's "A" items. Slight offsetting to front cover, else fine in stapled wrappers. A very nice copy of an extremely scarce item.
233. PURDY, James. The Nephew. NY: Farrar Straus Cudahy (1960). The author's fifth book. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with trace wear at the base of the spine.An attractive copy.
234. PYM, Barbara. An Unsuitable Attachment. (London): (MacMillan) (1982). The uncorrected proof copy of this posthumously published novel, with an introduction by Philip Larkin explaining the book's history: it was Pym's seventh novel, completed in 1963 and inexplicably rejected by her publisher, leading to a period where Pym went unpublished for sixteen years. A reassessment of her writing began in 1977 when the Times Literary Supplement named her one of the most underrated writers of the century (Larkin was one of the judges), and she ws retrospectively viewed as a major British woman writer. The book published immediately after the "reassessment," Quartet in Autumn, is generally considered her finest work. Spine cocked, with a short tear at the lower front spine fold. Very good in wrappers. A scarce proof.
235. PYNCHON, Thomas. V. London: Jonathan Cape (1963). The uncorrected proof copy of the first British edition of his first book, winner of the Faulkner Foundation Award for best first novel of the year, and the debut of one of the most important American writers of the postwar era. Pynchon's first novel is scarce in any edition, including the British, and the U.K. proof is remarkably uncommon. His elaborate inventiveness, labyrinthine plots and a sometimes paranoid comic sense made Pynchon the "postmodern" standard against whom all writers since have been measured and to whom they are compared. His writings in the Sixties and early Seventies bore a noted political edge, and Pynchon's books came to be associated with the social and political movements of the Sixties counterculture, in particular his sense of paranoia and offbeat sense of humor. A noted recluse, he has let his writing speak for him, and his first three novels, at least, have come to be viewed as postwar American classics, each of them winning one or more of the major literary awards given out in this country. In addition, his elaborately crafted, often difficult, multi-layered novels have earned him a passionate, almost cult-like following unlike that of any other living author, with Pynchon's most devoted readers discovering myriad hidden messages both within and between the texts of his novels -- finding in them both an endless source of fascination and fertile ground for scholarly study. A recent question of identity arose regarding a pseudonymous letter writer to a small California newspaper, and Pynchon scholars have delved deeply into dozens of stylistic similarities, obscure and cryptical references, and other arcana suggesting the author may be Pynchon, a tribute to the extent to which he has captivated readers and scholars. Minor spine creasing, small sticker removal shadow on first blank; a near fine copy in wrappers, in a near fine proof dust jacket. An uncommon proof, and we have never seen one before in a proof jacket.
236. PYNCHON, Thomas. The Secret Integration. (London): (Aloes Books) (1980). The first printing of this piracy, which was limited to 2500 copies and later reprinted. This is the first separate appearance of a piece that Pynchon originally published in the Saturday Evening Post in 1964. Fine in stapled wrappers.
237. -. Another copy. Slightly wavy and stained; very good.