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Kanon, Joseph. THE PRODIGAL SPY. New York City, NY: Broadway Books, 1998. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 409 pages. As New/As New.

The author's second novel. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. "Offers a glimpse at Cold War espionage, a very personal story about the effects of McCarthyism, and the paranoia that it spawned. Once again, Kanon effortlessly weaves together history and fiction in prose that is thick with period details. The real achievement of the book, though, is the author's strong sense of his narrative center, Nick Kotlar" (Publisher's blurb). "Young Nick tries to make sense of the masses of reporters who have gathered outside his house. Though his parents struggle to shield him from the truth, he inadvertently sees a newsreel that reveals his father's predicament: State Department Undersecretary Walter Kotlar is under the intense scrutiny of Congressman Kenneth Welles of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Kanon perfectly captures the sensibilities of a child with a parent in peril. Disbelieving Nick becomes a fledgling spy, trying to erase any clues in his home that might support Welles and his committee. But one night, after an explosive conversation with Nick's mother, his father disappears. That same night, the woman who had accused Walter Kotlar of spying is found dead. In 1953, Mr. Kotlar gives a press conference from Moscow announcing his defection. The book then moves to London in 1969, where Nick meets a young woman who tells him that not only is his father still alive, but he has been keeping tabs on his son for the 19 years since he fled to the Soviet Union. This revelation draws Nick into a meeting with the seriously ill elder Kotlar and propels him into intelligence gathering anew: To uncover the man who caused Walter Kotlar's defection and to find out who killed his father's accuser. Kanon once again breathes new life into spy fiction" (Patrick O'Kelley and our comments). A "must-have" title for Joseph Kanon collectors. This copy is prominently and beautifully signed in black fountain pen on the title page by Joseph Kanon. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time even though it went into multiple subsequent printings. This is one of few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. One of the finest living American writers. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JOSEPH KANON TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0767901428. $50.00

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