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Ozick, Cynthia. DICTATION: A QUARTET. New York City, NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 179 pages. As New/As New.

Collection of novellas. One of Cynthia Ozick's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. "Four novellas are gathered here, three previously published and one making its first appearance in print. The title novella is a subtly humorous, erudite, craftily conceived exercise in historical 'what if'. As Ozick has it, the two secretaries who perform dictation for famous novelists and personal friends Henry James and Joseph Conrad put their heads together and contrive to fool the world in a literary joke only they will ever know about. In 'Actors', Matt Sorley, close to 60, is a struggling New York actor who gets a fortunate break when the opening night of a play is accidentally a comedic succcess. The cerebral 'At Fumicaro' sees an American writer in retreat in a small town in Mussolini's Italy. He offers a young pregnant woman marriage and a life in the US, and then realizes the whole experience with her has been his penance for past deeds. 'What Happened to the Baby' is a raucous but haunting following of a young woman's experiences in getting to the bottom of her sordid family history. Prime examples of Ozick's rigorous writing style, her propensity for recognizing the element of ridiculousness in human tragedy, and her second-nature sympathy for eccentric characters" (Brad Hooper). She is writing in three literary traditions simultaneously, all of them at the most profound level imaginable: The ancient Jewish, the modern European, and the Jamesian American. Hence, the dazzling allusiveness, poignant beauty, and sheer intensity of her work. A masterly collection, this is a "must-have" title for Cynthia Ozick collectors. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for some time and is now collectible. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A scarce copy thus. Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for "Fame & Folly". Finalist for the National Book Award in 1997 for "The Puttermesser Papers". Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2001 for "Quarrel & Quandary". Recipient of the Lannan Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. One of the greatest living American writers. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CYNTHIA OZICK TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0547054009. $20.00

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