Title: THIRST: FICTION BY KEN KALFUS - Scarce Fine ...
Publisher: Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions, 1998
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: None, As Issued
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 205 pages. Published in 1998. The author's debut collection of short stories. Now considered a contemporary classic. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with the Softcover Edition. Published in a small and limited print run as a hardcover original only by a small fine press. The First Edition is now scarce. It is in pictorial hard boards with titles on the cover and spine. The back features blurbs by David Foster Wallace, Stuart Dybek, and Robey Wilson. Printed on thick archival stock paper in the United States to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Presents Ken Kalfus' "Thirst". A triumphant achievement. Short stories "to give to people who piss and moan about the unpromising future of American fiction". "Ken Kalfus is an important writer in every sense of 'important'. There are hip, funny writers, and there are smart, technically innovative writers, and there are wise, moving, and profound writers. Kalfus is all of these at once, and the stories in 'Thirst' manage simultaneously to delight, impress, provoke, and redeem" (David Foster Wallace). A brilliant debut, a promise fulfilled and a prodigious achievement sustained in Kalfus' three other books. An absolute "must-have" title for Ken Kalfus collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Ken Kalfus. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is now collectible. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. Finalist for The National Book Award in 2006 for "A Disorder Peculiar To The Country". One of the most brilliant American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER KEN KALFUS TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 1571310185. Bookseller Inventory # 12403
Synopsis: This collection of marvelously incentive and surreal stories by a distinctive new voice blends the fabulism of Calvino and the contemporary angst of DeLillo with a geographic and metaphoric language that is his alone.
Review: Five stars and a 10-gun salute: Kalfus fractures the concept of traditional short fiction with this debut collection. Deservedly cheered by David Foster Wallace ("Infinite Jest"; "A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again"), Kalfus's audacious stories have both charm and vision in multiple formats that reflect fiction's fabulous future.
The premier vignette, "Notice," explores the concept of "thirst," the interminable yearning that shapes human curiosity and achievement. Cynically set in the language of copyrights and legalese, "Notice" depicts the love life of the printed word, from its visceral seductiveness to our jealous control of its activities. In "Bouquet," a young au pair's aversion to open sexuality leads to a strange gift from a man who has been following her: a bouquet of flowers with a surprise that separates the prudish from the practical.
"The Republic of St. Mark, 1849" is an absolute jewel, surprising in its juxtaposition of the horrors of war and the mystical capacity of the human spirit. Alexandro "has been dying his whole life," but the eerie weapons of balloons and braziers that torment his besieged city finally bring him to death's surprising threshold, lofted into thinnest air by his own imagination.
Ken Kalfus quenches one's thirst for entertaining and intriguing fiction.
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