Updike, John. GERTRUDE AND CLAUDIUS. New York City, NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000. Hardcover. First Edition/Second Printing. 212 pages. Fine/Fine. .

The author's nineteenth novel. One of John Updike's finest achievements. The First Hardcover Edition in its Second Printing. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly copies that are signed on a tipped-in page as well as the gaudy Franklin Mint Edition. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents John Updike's "Gertrude And Claudius". His prequel to William Shakespeare's "Hamlet". Effectively re-tells "Hamlet" from his mother's and stepfather's points-of-view. John Updike's inventiveness as a writer is limited only by the limits of his genius, that is to say, it is practically limitless. He did something similar previously to "The Scarlet Letter" with his now-canonical novel, "S" (1988), which re-tells, movingly, Hawthorne's masterpiece from the heroine's point-of-view. "Precisely honed, buoyant with sly wit, masterful character analysis, and astutely observed historical details, this tour-de-force by the protean Updike re-imagines Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' " (Publishers Weekly). Written in Updike's characteristic lapidary style: Polished, clean, impeccable. There is such a thing as a John Updike line or sentence in the sense that there isn't in any other living American writer. Susan Sontag regarded him as the finest stylist in the English language of our time. An absolute "must-have" title for John Updike collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed and inscribed in blue ink-pen on the front free endpaper by the author: "For Kathy Macpherson, this dear little flight of fancy, John Updike". It is signed directly on the page, not on a tipped-in page. The recipient, who is named, was someone Updike met in person. His inscription on this copy is one of the best we have ever seen: Self-deprecating, endearing, and heartfelt. This title is a contemporary classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed and inscribed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/Second Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: The more a writer leaves of himself on the page itself, the better, not the other way around. In Updike's case, this is especially the case because he seldom did public signings and limited the number of books when he did. A rare signed copy thus. A writer all his adult life, John Updike was probably the most-honored American writer of our time: Winner of numerous awards, among them the Guggenheim Fellowship (1959), Rosenthal Award, National Institute of Arts and Letters (1959), National Book Award for Fiction (1964), O. Henry Prize (1967-68), American Book Award (1982), National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction (1982, 1990), Union League Club Abraham Lincoln Award (1982), National Arts Club Medal of Honor (1984), and the National Medal of the Arts (1989), the highest award the U. S. Government bestows on its artists and writers. In 1976, he became a member of American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2003, Updike received the National Medal for Humanities, joining a very small group of great living Americans who have been honored with both the National Medal of the Arts and the National Medal for the Humanities. Updike's greatest novels, "Rabbit is Rich" and "Rabbit at Rest", won Pulitzer Prizes. One of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JOHN UPDIKE TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0375409084. $50.00

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