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Ozick, Cynthia. LEVITATION: FIVE FICTIONS. New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1982. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 158 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective 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. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Cynthia Ozick's "Levitation: Five Fictions". Some of her best fiction, which is to say, some of the best fiction of modern American literature. It has been widely reported (and confirmed by Ozick herself) that at a very early reading of the book for a gathering of highly educated readers, Ozick left her audience utterly baffled. She was not daunted and was very generous to the doctors, lawyers, and scientists who came to the reading. As the title suggests with a hint of miracle, the book is about the transformative power of the imagination, creativity, and art, about transcendence being great art's true purpose. The thrust of modern education is (necessarily) pragmatic: About acquiring a degree and thereby landing a secure, high-paying job. As such, the idea of greatness is (unnecessarily) oppressive to many people. A cult writer once upon a time, Cynthia Ozick is now firmly established as one of our finest writers. It took a very long time for the reading public as well as the critics to realize her greatness. By her own admission, it was a struggle to achieve the recognition she deserved and the belated fame is more "folly" than anything else, as one of her collections aver. 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. Her prose style - imbricated, brachiate, and filigreed, to borrow three of her own favorite words - is a paradox: The rush of metaphors arrives at and realizes a work of luminous beauty. An absolute "must-have" title for Cynthia Ozick collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed and inscribed in black ink-pen on the front free endpaper by the author: "With good wishes, Cynthia Ozick". It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. There is no recipient named. This title is a late-modern classic. This is one of very few such signed and inscribed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Please note: Many copies available online are remainder-marked or subsequent printings. A rare signed 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 American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER CYNTHIA OZICK TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0394514130. $70.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on March 26, 2017.