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By Jane Smiley (1995)
SIGNED, First Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: One of the most common questions out there among people who collect "hypermodern" first editions (books less than thirty years old) is how to best guess which living authors to be collecting in the first place; and while only the future will show us which writers of our times will still be read and venerated a century from now, it's almost never a bad bet to target an author both popular and award-winning, pick the most famous title of their career, then purchase a signed first edition, first printing of it in immaculate shape. Take this signed first-edition copy of Moo, for example, by the still active Jane Smiley, first put out in 1995; for while it's her 1991 Pulitzer winner A Thousand Acres with the flashier reputation (thanks to the Hollywood Oscarbait adaptation), many people consider her next novel after that to be the best-written of her career, and the one that she will ultimately be remembered for. The ultimate "backbiting among philandering academes at a large Midwestern university" novel, which became virtually a cottage industry unto itself in the 1990s, the novel has been described by more than one passionate fan as Dickensian in tone; and as Smiley has elaborated on in subsequent interviews, one of her main points is to show that a university is not an isolated ivory tower but a living reflection of the often small town where it exists, which is why state schools from Wisconsin to Missouri and beyond have claimed with semi-pride that elements of this book were based on their campuses. (For what it's worth, Smiley lives in Ames, Iowa and teaches at the large Iowa State University, but she claims that the novel is not based on her real life in any way whatsoever.) In the future, there's a good chance that Smiley will be known as sort of the George Eliot of the Postmodernist Age, someone who was able to use small towns and middle-class societies to comment astutely on the entire national culture she found herself in; and while no rare book can be 100 percent guaranteed to go up in price in the future, certainly this has at least a strong chance of doing so, a perfect choice for a long-term investor just making their first acquisitions now at a young age.
CONDITION: Text: Like New (LN). Indistinguishable from how it appeared brand-new in bookstores. Dust Jacket: Like New (LN). Indistinguishable from how it appeared brand-new in bookstores, now protected in a Demco mylar sheet. SIGNED on the title page. Stated "First Edition" on the copyright page, with no additional printing notices, makes this a true first edition, first printing.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP in spring 2013 at the Bella Luna going out of business sale.