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Doctorow, E. L. . LIVES OF THE POETS: A NOVELLA AND SIX STORIES. New York City, NY: Random House, 1984. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 145 pages. Fine/Fine. Signed.

The author's debut collection of short stories. Now considered a late-modern classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent printings. Presents a collection of short stories that is unified and rendered "intelligible" (from a literary standpoint) by the concluding eponymous piece, "Lives of the Poets", the only novella E. L. Doctorow has ever published. Doctorow is a singular phenomenon: A master of the historical novel, who has written a series of books on his beloved New York City ("Ragtime", "World's Fair", "The Waterworks", and "Homer & Langley") as well as a restless and agile technical and formal experimenter, who has written such challenging works as "Loon Lake" and this collection, pushing the boundaries of late-modern fiction and exploring the possibilities of his own art. How does he meld the two opposing ambitions? "Highly-regarded and controversial, Doctorow's work is characterized by serious philosophical probings, a subtle and diverse prose style, and placement of historical figures in unusual, sometimes bizarre, situations and settings. His novels stretch the limits of the literary genres on which he draws. 'Lives of the Poets' presents readers with what they have come to expect from him over the years: A literary surprise, in its form, content, and stylistic intention" (Publisher's blurb). One of the short stories became the basis of the full-length novel, "The Waterworks". A masterly, near-perfect collection, this is a "must-have" title for E. L. Doctorow collectors. This copy is prominently and beautifully signed in black fountain pen on the title page by E. L. Doctorow. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for a very long time and is now collectible. This is one of relatively few signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. E. L. Doctorow now seldom does public signings, and when he does, limits the number of books he is willing to sign. As a result, his Limited Editions, while highly collectible, are often more widely available than copies of the First Hardcover Editions, which are signed directly on the title page rather than on a tipped-in leaf. A very scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the very first National Book Critics Circle Award in 1976 for "Ragtime". Winner of the National Book Award in 1986 for "World's Fair". Winner of the PEN/Faulkner and a second National Book Critics Circle Award in 2006 for "The March". One of the greatest living American writers. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER E. L. DOCTOROW TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0394525302. $80.00

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