(Click for larger image)

Wood, James. THE BROKEN ESTATE: ESSAYS ON LITERATURE AND BELIEF. New York City, NY: Random House, 1999. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 270 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's breakthrough debut collection of essays. Now considered a contemporary classic. 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 James Wood's "The Broken Estate: Essays On Literature And Belief". His first, and still his best, book. Bursting with intellectual energy that is put at the service of moral seriousness (without being moralistic) and written in accessible, elegant prose, these twenty-one essays "give a compelling account of modern fiction that is as conscientious as it is idiosyncratic, presenting a gallery of personal heroes (Herman Melville, Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov, Virginia Woolf, W. G. Sebald), villains (Ernest Renan, George Steiner, Toni Morrison, John Updike, Julian Barnes), and great in-betweens (Thomas More, T. S. Eliot, Gustave Flaubert, Philip Roth). Incisive, beautifully-turned workings of a literary mind" (Publishers Weekly). James Wood writes regularly for The New Yorker Magazine, has published two subsequent collections, two novels, and a "how-to"-of-sorts, "How Fiction Works" (2008). They are all characterized by erudition, intelligence, and spots of brilliance. Still, Wood's debut remains unsurpassed by him. "He proves that superior criticism not only unifies and interprets a literary culture, but has the power to imagine it into being" (Cynthia Ozick). An absolute "must-have" title for James Wood collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed, placed, dated, and inscribed in black ink-pen on the title page by the author: "With best wishes, James Wood, NYC '08". It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. The recipient is named. This title is a contemporary classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed, placed, dated, and inscribed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. One of the greatest literary critics of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JAMES WOOD TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0375502173. $150.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on May 25, 2020.