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Vidal, Gore. TWO SISTERS: A NOVEL IN THE FORM OF A MEMOIR. New York City, NY: Little, Brown & Company, 1970. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 256 pages. Fine/Fine. Rubbing, chipping, and creasing on DJ corners and spine .

The author's twelfth novel. One of Gore Vidal's most accomplished works, it is arguably his first memoir albeit in fictional form, a genre he has mastered as very few other modern writers have, and anticipates two of his greatest books, "Palimpsest" (1995) and "Point-to-Point Navigation" (2006). The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. The novel was written at a particularly productive period in Gore Vidal's career and at the height of his creative powers and fame: "Myra Breckinridge" (1968) is now considered a uniquely American masterpiece while "Burr" (1973) is regarded by Vidal's admirers as possibly the most important installment in his series of novels on American history. In "Two Sisters", an American writer named "Gore Vidal" is visited in his sumptuous Roman apartment by an aging writer who was once his lover, "Marietta Donegal" (unmistakably Anais Nin). She hands him the Hollywood notebooks and a screenplay by "Eric Van Damm". "Gore Vidal" was once in love with Eric, and also had an affair with his twin sister Erika, "a perfect feminine version of Eric's own perfect youth". The novel alternates between Vidal's meditations on aging, death, illiteracy, the loss of historical awareness, and the rich past, and Van Damm's manuscripts, a screenplay called "Two Sisters" (hence the novel's title) and an account of the Hollywood producer "Murray Morris", one of the most brilliantly written set pieces on Hollywood during the Second Golden Age of cinema. In lesser hands, this would all have collapsed on Page Two. But this is Gore Vidal, and "Two Sisters" shows the limpid beauty of his prose at its best. The novel has a scathing, Vidal-ian anger and despair about the appalling decline of American society, an intellectual/writer who seems to have given up on American democracy as a "festival of mediocrity". Vidal has actually never lost hope, and his despair is that of an erudite student of history who has been shut out (like most of his fellow Americans) of the democratic process. Vidal is not a prophet but like all great writers, he is presciently imaginative. It is surely hard not to feel that, almost forty years later, nothing much has changed about the American festival, except perhaps that all pretense of democracy has been dropped, imperial wars are waged even more shamelessly, and the man who sat in the White House for the first eight years of the new century is beyond understanding and beyond hope. A "must-have" title for Gore Vidal completists. This presentation copy is very prominently and beautifully signed and inscribed in black marker on the title page by Gore Vidal. The recipient is named. This is one of very few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and despite the imperfections on the DJ, is still in fine condition: Every internal page is clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A very scarce signed copy thus. Recipient of the National Book Award's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 for "Distinguished Contribution to American Letters". One of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER GORE VIDAL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN B000H5ASJG. $150.00

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