3.2.13

Thomas Pynchon: Signed Books

A 2011 auction of Pynchon's works, with personalised inscriptions

From a 2011 article in the Los Angeles Times:
Thomas Pynchon has surfaced in a remarkable book collection and the memories of his lifelong friend Phyllis Gebauer, who shared stories of one of America's most reclusive writers Wednesday night in Los Angeles.

The only known collection of signed first editions of Pynchon's works, a gift to the UCLA Extension Writers Program, debuted at an invitation-only event in Westwood. Although the exceedingly private author does not hold public book signings, he sent inscribed copies of each of his books as they were published to Phyllis and Fred Gebauer. The writer and the couple became friends in the early 1960s.

Most of Pynchon's inscriptions include personal comments. In "The Crying of Lot 49," Pynchon wrote, "For Fred and Phyllis, who saw this first, though we're still friends anyway. -- Tom." One, in "Gravity's Rainbow," includes an illustration of a smiling pig, harking back to a piñata the Gebauers brought him as a gift when they were all living in Southern California. [Read More]
Also at A Piece of Monologue: