Garden City, Doubleday, 1957. The second printing of this short comic novel, signed by Nabokov and dated "21 Jan. 1959 Cornell Univ." With a letter of provenance laid in. Nabokov was notoriously reluctant to sign books, and the letter of provenance tells an interesting story: the purchaser of this book originally bought two copies of Lolita to have Nabokov sign, and Nabokov told him that he had an agreement with his publisher not to sign copies of the book. As a result, he went back to the bookstore and bought two copies of Pnin (one for himself and one for his sister), and Nabokov signed and dated those instead. The commercial success of Lolita -- it had been a bestseller since its publication the previous summer -- allowed Nabokov to leave his job at Cornell. He gave his last two lectures there on January 19, two days before signing this book. Boards somewhat rubbed; near fine in a very good dust jacket with a couple of small stains at the folds, some fading to the spine lettering, and modest edge chipping. The dust jacket is Juliar's variant a, with the code above the price on the front flap. Uncommon signed, and this copy with a small footnote to literary history. [#033207] $3,500
All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.