NY, Putnam, (1979). An elaborately constructed epistolary novel. Inscribed by the author in the month prior to publication: "For Bill and Jean, two main characters in our family alphabet. Love, Jack. 9/79." The recipients were poet Bill Sylvester and his wife Jean, who got to know Barth and became close friends with him in the 1960s when both Sylvester and Barth were teaching at SUNY Buffalo. A nice literary and personal association copy. Barth won the National Book Award in 1973, and was one of the most acclaimed American writers for two decades, representing the "postmodern" school of fiction, in contrast to the "realistic" school. Novelist John Gardner's polemic, On Moral Fiction, famously took Barth and his cohort to task for writing fiction that focused on the process more than the content, thus abandoning the moral dimension and power of Art, in Gardner's view. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with light edge wear, fading to the spine letters, and a bit of dampstaining visible on the verso of the spine. [#028148] $150

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