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Catalog 99, N-R

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245. NABOKOV, Vladimir. Typed Letter Signed. February 8, 1944. A full page, written to the Bernard Guilbert Guerney, the well-known American translator of Gogol and other masters of Russian literature (excluding Nabokov, reportedly due to a dispute on the division of royalties). In the letter, Nabokov debates several of the word choices in one of the recipient's translations, and then generously adds that "all of this is of little importance, the important thing being that you have put so much creative thought and poetical care into your admirable translations." He also expresses regret that the recipient has encountered "my dwarf story," written in 1919 and published in Esquire in the 1930s: " is an absolute failure of the lurid juvenile type." The story referred to is "The Potato Elf," an early Nabokov story that had been translated by Serge Bertensson and Irene Kosinka, apparently without the author's knowledge or consent, and published in Esquire in December, 1939, the first publication of Nabokov's short fiction in America. Nabokov and his son, Dmitri, later re-translated the story and it was published in Esquire in 1973 and then collected in the volume, A Russian Beauty and Other Stories (NY: McGraw-Hill, 1973). Interestingly, Juliar's bibliography makes no mention of the earlier Esquire publication, and gives the first appearance in America of a Nabokov story as "Cloud, Castle, Lake" in the Atlantic Monthly of June, 1941. An interesting, bibliographically significant letter, with good literary content. One page; folded in horizontal fourths; fragile at the folds; trace sunning and wear to the edges; near fine; and signed in full. Together with the hand-addressed portion of the mailing envelope, inclusive of the return address.

246. NAIPAUL, V.S. Guerrillas. NY: Knopf, 1976. A third printing of the American edition of this novel that the reviewer for The New York Times Book Review called the best novel of the year. Inscribed by the author in 1980 to the owner of a Paris bookshop, across both the front pastedown and the front flyleaf, on the foredge and the rear flap of the jacket. The inscription consists primarily of exhortations: "To hell/ with them/ freinds [sic] are freinds" and, seemingly conversely, "What's done/ can't/ be/ undone." Large, scrawling letters, and a crying face drawing. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Naipaul inscriptions are uncommon, and a dramatic, uncensored one such as this is truly unusual.

247. NAIPAUL, V.S. Beyond Belief. NY: Random House, 1998. The uncorrected proof copy of his new book, essays on the people of the Islamic world, and the influence of Islamic fundamentalism on their lives. Fine in wrappers.

248. NOON, Jeff. Vurt. NY: Crown (1995). The advance reading copy of the first American edition of this highly praised first novel, originally published by a small press in England. Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Signed by the author. Fine in wrappers.

249. NOON, Jeff. Pollen. NY: Crown (1996). The first American edition of the sequel to Vurt. Fine in a fine dust jacket with a tiny nick at the base of the spine, and signed by the author.

250. NORMAN, Howard. The Woe Shirt. Lincoln: Penmaen Press (1980). Caribbean folk tales by Paulé Bartón, translated by Norman, and illustrated by Norman Laliberté. Printed in an edition of 2000, with 100 copies specially bound and, according to the colophon, signed by the translator and illustrator. Apparently, the illustrator only signed 70 of the hundred copies. The book's designer, Michael McCurdy, apparently signed the remaining ones plus 16 of the ones that had already been signed by Norman and Laliberté. This copy is one of the 30 or so signed by Norman and McCurdy only. Fine in an acetate dust jacket.

251. -. Same title, a review copy of the trade edition (Port Townsend: Graywolf Press, 1982). Only issued in wrappers. Fine.

252. NORMAN, Howard. The Museum Guard. NY: FSG (1998). Uncorrected proof copy of the third novel by the author of The Bird Artist. Norman's first two novels were both nominated for the National Book Award. Fine in wrappers.

253. OATES, Joyce Carol. My Heart Laid Bare. (NY): Dutton (1998). The advance reading copy of this novel. With loose sheets laid in at two sections where the text was transposed. Fine in wrappers.

254. O'BRIEN, Tim. If I Die in a Combat Zone. (n.p.): Delacorte Press (1973). The author's first book, a highly praised memoir of the Vietnam War in which O'Brien uses some of the techniques of fiction to convey the experience with immediacy and power. O'Brien later won the National Book Award for his magical-realist Vietnam novel, Going After Cacciato, and his volume, The Things They Carried, is widely considered one of the masterpieces to have come out of the war. A previous owner (?) has penned a 5-line antiwar poem on the last blank of the book. Very slight fading to the edges of the boards, much less than is usual with this title, otherwise fine in a fine dust jacket, with none of the yellowing to the jacket or to the edges of the endpapers that one typically finds with this book. Signed by the author. A very attractive copy of one of the scarcest and most sought after first books of the past 30 years.

255. O'BRIEN, Tim. Northern Lights. NY: Delacorte (1975). His second novel, a tale of two brothers in the wilderness of northern Minnesota, one of them a war veteran, the other a veteran of the protests against that war. A cheaply-made, "perfectbound" book, it is difficult to find in nice condition, rivaling his first book, If I Die in a Combat Zone, for scarcity. Slight sunning to the board edges; inner hinge has been professionally strengthened; else fine in a fine dust jacket, and signed by the author. An attractive copy of an uncommon book.

256. O'BRIEN, Tim The Things They Carried. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. His fifth book, a collection of related stories which share a number of characters as well as the narrator a "Tim O'Brien" whose experience bears certain similarities to the author's own, as well as a number of differences. Selected as one of the 12 best books of the year, in all categories, by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Not quite a novel in the standard sense but more tightly structured than the usual collection of stories, it is a meditation on war and death, and on the place that storytelling has in bringing these essentially unfathomable experiences within our grasp. Fine in a fine dust jacket, and signed by the author. A book that may turn out to be the Red Badge of Courage of the Vietnam war ringing with truth long after its author and its original audience are gone.

257. 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. Published to universal critical acclaim; named best novel of the year by Time magazine; made into a movie for television. This is the 1" thick issue; there was a wider (1 1/16") issue, but no priority has been determined. Fine in dust jacket, and signed by the author.

258. OLMSTEAD, Robert. Soft Water. NY: Vintage (1988). The advance reading copy of his second book which, like his first, was issued as a paperback original in the Vintage Contemporaries series. Bound together back-to-back with Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons, the paperback reprint of her highly praised first novel. Fine in wrappers.

259. OLMSTEAD, Robert. America by Land. NY: Random House (1993). The uncorrected proof copy of the author's fourth book. Near fine in wrappers.

260. O'NAN, Stewart. A World Away. NY: Henry Holt (1998). The advance reading copy of the latest novel by the author of Snow Angels and The Names of the Dead, among others. O'Nan's first book, In the Walled City, won the Drue Heinz Literary Award, and he was also named one of the "Granta 20" best young American authors. This novel takes place during World War II and was highly praised for evoking with great authenticity the spirit and ambience of that time. Fine in wrappers.

261. (O'NAN, Stewart). The Vietnam Reader. NY: Doubleday (1998). The uncorrected proof copy of this paperback original, the most far-reaching anthology in tracking the reflection of the Vietnam War in literature and popular culture. Edited and introduced by O'Nan, one of whose books, The Names of the Dead, was a highly praised Vietnam novel. O'Nan also contributes original essays on the films of the war. Covers fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, film, photographs and song lyrics. With work, apparently all previously published, by Tim O'Brien, Philip Caputo, David Rabe, Michael Herr, Michael Casey, James Webb, Bobbie Ann Mason, Louise Erdrich, and many others. Fine in wrappers.

262. ONDAATJE, Michael. The English Patient. NY: Knopf, 1992. The uncorrected proof copy of the first American edition. Co-winner of the Booker Prize and the basis for the Academy Award-winning film. Fine in wrappers and signed by the author.

263. PATON, Alan. Cry, the Beloved Country. NY: Scribner (1950). Later printing of the American edition of Paton's first novel, a modern classic of racial prejudice under South Africa's apartheid system a bellwether book for race relations in this country as well as a searing exposé of conditions in his own country. Inscribed by the author for Van Wyck Brooks in 1954, and bearing Brooks's ownership signature. A very good copy in a very good dust jacket, and an excellent literary association copy of one of the great books of the postwar era.

264. PAYNE, David. Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1984. The uncorrected proof copy of his first novel, which won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award. This is the first issue proof, in blue wrappers. Spots to front cover and a possible, tentative puppy bite to the upper outer page corners. Very good.

265. PEARSON, T.R. Call and Response. NY: Linden/Simon & Schuster, 1989. The uncorrected proof copy of the fourth novel by this acclaimed Southern writer, who writes in a distinctive Southern dialect. Author's biography rewritten by hand on the rear cover; near fine in wrappers.

266. PECK, Dale. Now It's Time to Say Goodbye. NY: FSG (1998). The advance reading copy of the author's third book, published to substantial critical praise earlier this year. Fine in wrappers with a series of four graphic photographic publicity postcards laid in, showing portions of the cover photograph of the murdered body that is central to the novel.

267. PLATH, Sylvia. A Winter Ship. Edinburgh: Tragara Press, 1960. Her first book, a single poem, preceded only by Sculptor the year before, which was an offprint from the Grecourt Review. One of an estimated 50 copies. Plath's collection, The Colossus, was published later the same year in England, and two years later in the U.S. One page folded to make four; a fine copy. In an attractive custom folding chemise and quarter leather clamshell box.

268. PLATH, Sylvia. Child. (Exeter): (Rougemont Press) (1971). One of 325 numbered copies of this posthumously published volume. A single poem, one of the dozen written in the last weeks before her death. With facsimile of the working manuscript. Thin quarto; fine in saddle-stitched wrappers and dust jacket.

269. PRICE, Richard. Freedomland. NY: Broadway Books (1998). The uncorrected proof copy of the latest novel by the author of Clockers and The Wanderers, among others. Fine in wrappers.

270. PURDY, James. Two Plays. Dallas: New London Press (1979). Two short plays, "A Day After the Fair" and "True," by the author of Malcolm and others. Published by a small press, which issued a signed limited edition and an issue in wrappers, this is the hardcover trade issue, unsigned. Clothbound; near fine without dust jacket, as issued.

271. PURDY, James. Sleep Tight. (NY): Najda (1979). A single story, finely printed and saddle-stitched into wrappers, with a frontispiece illustration by Purdy. Of a total edition of 126 copies, this is one of 100 numbered copies signed by the author. Pages uncut; fine. An attractive copy of a scarce and fragile item.

272. PYNCHON, Thomas. Mortality and Mercy in Vienna. (London): (Aloes) (n.d.). (c.1976). A piracy, and the first separate appearance of a story that first appeared in Epoch. The Mead bibliography lists four states and a second printing: this copy corresponds to none of those, having neither the crosses of the four states nor a publication date as implied in the description of the second printing; the cover illustration is entirely brown. Near fine in stapled wrappers.

273. PYNCHON, Thomas. Vineland. Boston: Little Brown (1990). Unbound signatures of his first novel in seventeen years. Pynchon reportedly requested that there be no bound proofs prepared for this novel, making this the earliest known printed version of the book. Reportedly there were only eight sets of signatures pulled from the print run for this advance issue. Pages uncut; fine, in an attractive custom folding chemise and quarter morocco slipcase.

274. PYNCHON, Thomas. Mason and Dixon. NY: Henry Holt (1997). The advance reading copy of his latest novel, published to extraordinary critical reviews, with more than one reviewer calling it his best book. The trade edition had an announced 200,000 copy first printing; we are told that the number of copies of each advance issue was 500. There are two variant issues, with differences only on the rear wrapper: this is the one with the rear panel featuring publication and promotional data, which was reportedly sent to booksellers; the other was said to have been sent to reviewers, and has a brief synopsis of the book's content on the rear panel. Both issues, we are told, contain minor textual variations from the published book the first time that a Pynchon advance copy has been textually significant, to the best of our knowledge. No priority determined. Fine.

275. -. Same title, the uncorrected proof copy, with significant textual variations from the above advance reading copy as well as from the printed book. We have been told that virtually the entire edition of these proofs was destroyed, and the quantity extant was, at one point, rumored to total nine copies. Fine in wrappers. The most significant printed variant of any Pynchon work ever to appear the only one to contain a significantly earlier version of the text than that which was finally published in book form. While the textual variations in the advance reading copy listed above are minor, and could easily have been the work of a copy editor, those evident in this proof would have to have involved Pynchon's assent and his rewriting.

276. REYNOLDS, Sheri. A Gracious Plenty. (NY): (Harmony) (1997). The uncorrected proof copy of this new novel by the author of The Rapture of Canaan. Fine in pictorial wrappers.

277. RICE, Anne. The Tale of the Body Thief. NY: Knopf, 1992. The uncorrected proof copy of the fourth book in her acclaimed Vampire Lestat series. Ink notation rear cover, one edge tear and several light stains; very good in wrappers.

278. RICE, Anne. The Vampire Armand. NY: Knopf, 1998. The uncorrected proof copy of the latest novel in her ongoing vampire chronicles. This is a fine copy in wrappers.

279. ROSS, Lillian. Picture. A Story About Hollywood. NY: Rinehart (1952). The first book by this longtime writer for The New Yorker, a story of the making of the Hollywood film of The Red Badge of Courage. Acidic paper browning with age, otherwise fine in a price-clipped dust jacket, which is modestly soiled and edgeworn but still, overall, very good. Inscribed by the author "with admiration and affection."

280. ROSS, Lillian. Portrait of Hemingway. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1961. Her second book, a profile of Hemingway that first appeared in The New Yorker in 1950, with a preface by the author that was, in abridged form, part of a BBC tribute to Hemingway after he committed suicide. Inscribed by Ross. Fine in a slightly spine-tanned, near fine dust jacket.

281. ROSS, Lillian and ROSS, Helen. The Player. A Profile of an Art. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1962. Fifty-five actors and actresses sequentially talk about themselves and their work; twenty-one of these pieces originally appeared in The New Yorker. Inscribed by Ross with "love." Near fine in a very good dust jacket.

282. ROSS, Lillian. Vertical and Horizontal. NY: Simon & Schuster (1963). Her fourth book and first work of fiction, a novel. Inscribed by the author. Fine in a near fine dust jacket.

283. ROSS, Lillian. Reporting. NY: Simon & Schuster, 1964. Seven long pieces of nonfiction that originally appeared in The New Yorker, including her "Portrait of Hemingway." Inscribed by the author. Fine in a near fine dust jacket.

284. ROSS, Lillian. Adlai Stevenson. Philadelphia/NY: Lippincott, 1966. A short book, written for the "Notes and Comments" section of The New Yorker after Stevenson died. Inscribed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.

285. -. Another copy. Inscribed by Ross in 1973. Near fine in a trimmed, near fine dust jacket.

286. ROSS, Lillian. Talk Stories. NY: Simon & Schuster (1966). A review copy of this collection of a large number of Ross's short pieces written for the "Talk of the Town" section of The New Yorker and originally published there without an author credit, as was their practice until recently. Inscribed by the author. Fine in a slightly spine-darkened, near fine dust jacket.

287. ROSS, Lillian. Here But Not Here. NY: Random House (1998). The uncorrected proof copy of her recently published account of her long affair with legendary New Yorker editor William Shawn. Fine in wrappers.

288. ROTH, Philip. On the Air. (n.p.): New American Review (n.d.). c. 1970. A limited edition of a story printed for friends of New American Review. One of 1500 numbered copies, this copy inscribed by Roth on the front cover. Creases on front and rear covers (binding defect?), otherwise near fine in stapled wrappers.

289. ROTH, Philip. Our Gang. (NY): Bantam (1973). A review copy of the second paperback edition, the "Watergate Edition," of Roth's send-up of Nixon and the Nixon administration. With a special preface by the author for this edition. Pages slightly yellowing, otherwise fine in wrappers. Review photos laid in. Inscribed by the author.

290. ROTH, Philip. Typed Note Signed. May 28, 1975. A short note commiserating with another writer about receiving little attention for his work. Folded in sixths for mailing. Top edge worn, with two tears, not affecting text; still about near fine.

291. ROTH, Philip. The Counterlife. Franklin Center: Franklin Library, 1986. The limited edition, which is the true first edition, with a special introduction by the author, consisting mostly of notes Roth wrote to himself during the time he was working on The Counterlife. Leatherbound, all edges gilt, with a silk ribbon marker bound in. Fine.

292. ROTH, Philip. Operation Shylock. Franklin Center: Franklin Library, 1993. Limited edition of this winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and Time magazine's Book of the Year. Signed by the author, and with a special introduction by him for this edition. Leatherbound, all edges gilt, with a silk ribbon marker bound in. Fine.

293. -. Another copy. Corners bumped; else fine.

294. -. Same title, a hardcover advance reading copy issued by the trade publisher (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1993). Shot from proof sheets and bound in a quarter cloth binding with a paper label on the front cover and an unstamped spine. Lower corners bumped; near fine without dust jacket, as issued. An extremely scarce advance copy: we've never seen another one.

295. ROTH, Philip. American Pastoral. Franklin Center: Franklin Library, 1997. The limited edition of his most recent novel, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Roth's four books published in the 1990s have collectively won the Pulitzer, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Pen/Faulkner Award, and the National Book Award, an unprecedented accomplishment in American letters. Signed by the author. With a special introduction by Roth for this edition. Leatherbound, all edges gilt, with a silk ribbon marker bound in. Fine.

296. ROTH, Philip. I Married a Communist. Boston/NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. The advance reading copy of his latest novel, set in the McCarthy era. Fine in wrappers.

297. (ROTH, Philip). "The Psychoanalytic Special" and "An Actor's Life for Me" in Penguin Modern Stories 3. (Middlesex): Penguin (1969). Paperback original, with stories by Roth, Margaret Drabble, Jay Neugeboren and Giles Gordon. Pages yellowing with age; else fine. Inscribed by Roth.

298. RUSSO, Richard. Straight Man. NY: Random House (1997). The uncorrected proof copy of the latest novel by the author of Nobody's Fool. Fine in wrappers.

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