Lethem, Jonathan. CHRONIC CITY. New York City, NY: Doubleday, 2009. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 467 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's eighth novel. One of Jonathan Lethem's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. PubIished in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Jontahn Lethem's homage-of-sorts to his other city. "Jonathan Lethem, the home-grown frontrunner of a generation of Brooklyn writers, crosses the bridge to Manhattan. A smart, unsettling, and hilarious novel of friendship and real estate among the rich and the rent-controlled. Lethem's story centers around two unlikely friends, Chase Insteadman, a genial non-entity who was once a child sitcom star, and now is best-known as the loyal fiance of a space-stranded astronaut, and Perkus Tooth, a skinny, moody, under-employed cultural critic. Chase and Perkus are free-floating, dope-dependent bohemians in a borough built on ambition, living on its margins, but with surprising access to its centers of power, even to the city's billionaire Mayor. Every page is a pleasure of pitch-perfect banter and spot-on cultural satire, cut sharply with the melancholic sense that being able to explain your city doesn't make you any more capable of living in it" (Tom Nissley). As Susan Sontag has pointed out, illness-as-metaphor can be a harmful literary trope. By suggesting (starting with his title) that New York City has a chronic condition (as opposed, one surmises, to something more acute or even terminal), Lethem evocatively (and symptomatically) captures the reality of New York City's incurable malaise. An absolute "must-have" title for Jonathan Lethem collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Jonathan Lethem. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page or bookplate. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Lethem did not do a national tour for the book so signed copies are relatively hard to find. A scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the Crawford Award for Best Fantasy Novel and the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 1994 for "Gun, with Occasional Music". Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999 for "Motherless Brooklyn". Selected as one of the "Best Books of the Year" by the New York Times in 2003 for "Fortress of Solitude". Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant in 2005. One of the most brilliant new voices in American literature. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JONATHAN LETHEM TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0385518633. $60.00

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