Smith, J. P.

ISBN 10: 0670839035 / ISBN 13: 9780670839032
Published by New York: Viking, (1992) dj, 1992
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SIGNED hardcover first edition - First printing. The author's fourth novel, both mysterious and literate: as David, a writer, attempts to discover what was behind the death of his wife of two years, his former editor, his own life begins to resemble one of his rather dark novels. INSCRIBED on the half title page. 240 pp. Fine in fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 64829

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: New York: Viking, (1992) dj

Publication Date: 1992

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


An American novelist marries his London editor and finds out that her past is more complicated than he knew when she suddenly leaves to visit her sister in New York, and is mysteriously killed by a subway train

From Publishers Weekly:

This slim but ambitious novel, digressing continually into meditations on the relations between life and art, will both enchant with its spare, limpid prose and exasperate with its evasions. Smith ( The Blue Hour ; The Man from Marseille ) circles around the kernel of a story: novelist David Reid brings his new wife Kate, a beautiful, blonde British editor/translator, to his Massachusetts home. Two years later, on a visit to New York, Kate either leaps or falls to her death under a subway train. Her unfinished translation of a work by French novelist Marc Rougemont, now in New York, stirs David's suspicion. He stalks the enigmatic Marc to his hotel room, accuses him of having had an affair with Kate and threatens him with a knife. Either he kills him or he does not, since in this narrative David is composing the web of his life as he might design a work of fiction. Intermittently, David reflects on several Vermeer paintings, including one of a woman weighing gold and pearls in a scale and another of a woman reading a letter by a window. The mystery of the women's thoughts causes him to query how much the artist ("by nature a voyeur") can understand of his materials or an individual even of his most cherished relationships. Patterns form in his experience, as they do in lace, musical fugues or fiction. Meeting blonde Denise, David understands the pull of an adulterous liaison. himself becomes a guilty adulterer. Scenes of deja vu proliferate, hinting that life may rival art with echoing configurations of its own. While the descriptions of the Vermeers are beautifully rendered, their link to David's story in this involute work is never satisfactorily clarified.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Store Description - the name used by Volk and Iiams, Booksellers- specializes in first editions of twentieth century literature, with an emphasis on women authors, African American, Native American and Latin American authors - plus mystery & detective fiction, science fiction & fantasy, poetry and children's & illustrated books. We try to offer many uncommon books, and have a large selection of first books, and books by authors who are less frequently collected. Of the approximately 50,000 volumes in stock, the majority are hardcover first editions, although we also stock vintage science fiction paperbacks as well as sf digests and pulps. We also have a large selection of books signed by the author and uncorrected proof copies. Less than 50% of our stock is catalogued, so please inquire if you are searching for specific titles. Selling books by mail order and on the internet since 1993. We have a large booth dedicated to books (called Books Upstairs) at the Antiques Upstairs Mall, 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA. (open every day from 10-5) The emphasis there is on Western Americana, children¿s books and inexpensive reading copies. In 1998 we relocated our main business from Sacramento to the Sierra foothills of Amador County, about 35 miles east of downtown Sacramento and between Ione & Sutter Creek. There, on 10 acres of rolling oak-covered hills, we built a ¿bookhouse¿ for our books. When we are there, we welcome visitors by appointment (call 209-274-6960 or, in the US only, toll free at 1-877-bookfev or contact us by email Our web page is Traditional bookseller grading used - fine is our highest grade (an "A"), very good is above average (a "B), good is average (a "C"). All significant flaws are described; dust jackets are protected by archival covers, and books are packed carefully for shipping. We welcome questions by email or phone.

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Terms of Sale: is a partnership between Christine Volk and Eugene Iiams, Booksellers. Our mailing address is PO Box 696, Ione CA 95640 USA. Our store is located at 5 Main Street, Jackson, CA 95642 USA. Email: Phone: 209-274-6960. We accept Mastercard, Visa AMEX, Discover, checks or Paypal, whichever is most convenient for customers. Please contact us if you have any questions, or want to confirm availability. All dustjackets are in archival mylar covers, and books are packed ...

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