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Lot 11: Thomas Pynchon Signed Book: Especially rare inscribed first edition of his award-winning post-modern epic work Gravity’s Rainbow

Antiquarian Archives

January 10, 2016
Lakewood, NJ, US

More About this Item


Description

Signed book: Gravity'’s Rainbow. First edition, first printing. NY: Viking, 1973. Hardcover with original, first issue dust jacket, 760 pages. Signed and inscribed on the half-title page in black ink, “"10/86, To Michael Urban, Best Wishes, Thomas Pynchon."”

Pynchon and Gravity’s Rainbow hold a place in the pantheon of modern literature, with the author as storied as the tale itself. Considered his greatest novel, Gravity’s Rainbow is arguably the definitive postmodern literary work and has been the subject of much acclaim and controversy—in addition to receiving the National Book Award in 1974, it was selected for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction but went unawarded after objections from the board.

Pynchon famously shuns any sort of public attention and is recursively reclusive—indeed, his private life is the most notable feature of his biography, of which little is known. Photographs of him are virtually nonexistent and his whereabouts the subject of speculation, making any autographic material incredibly rare. He made an exception in this case as a personal gift for a young boy stricken with Lymphoma. In a letter sent along with the book (not being offered at this time), Pynchon writes, “"I would of course be happy to sign some books for your son… He is fortunate to have you as a source of love and support... Lymphoma is a tough fight, and I don't see how it's possible to neglect… the spirit, and the will to prevail."”

As an inscribed first edition of his most important book, this is undoubtedly one of the rarest and most sought-after pieces in all of literature.

Dimensions

Hardcover book, 6 by 8.75 inches, 760 pages

Date

October 1986

Condition Report

Autographic condition: fine. Book condition: near fine.

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