Rabbit at rest (Signed Limited First Edition)

BY John Updike
Book Information1/1/0/US/AF/1990/o.350  •  218x148x54  •  1,061  •  Pulitzer'91  •  NBCCA'90

"Rabbit at Rest", the last of the Rabbit quartet, is an elegiac meditation on the sense of an ending, foretold in the opening paragraph when the  "sudden funny feeling" that Rabbit feels at the airport was not his son and family, but "something more ominous and intimately his: his own death". Along the way, Rabbit has to deal with his increasing irrelevance, a reminder that there is really no country for old men. The acceptance that the end is near, however, emancipates Rabbit from constraints of norms and morality, and provides the perfect self-righteous justification to behave badly in his quest to extract what's left of life's offerings. He engages in gluttony with junk food, elicits wrath from a husband grieving for his wife's death with the comment that "she was a fantastic lay", practices without shame a brand of racism and misogyny arising from his hubristic pride, and indulge in a lusty affair with his own daughter-in-law. He then runs away one last time and, while have a one-on-one basketball game with a local youth, suffers a heart attack before passing on with his family, reconciled, beside him. 

"Rabbit at Rest", published in 1990 by Alfred Knopf, won the Pulitzer with the fiction jury's laudatory comment that "it represents the work of an artist who has arrived at the very peak of his powers." The book beat fellow finalists Linda Hogan's "Mean Spirit" and Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carry", which it also came on top of to win the National Book Critics Circle Award, whose other finalists were Sue Miller's "Family Picture", Wallace Stegner's "Collected Stories", and Charles Johnson's "Middle Passage", that year's National Book Award winner. Updike would be one of only three writers - along with Booth Tarkington and William Faulkner - to win the Pulitzer fiction prize twice. No writer had won more than twice to date.

"Rabbit at Rest" has three first editions, a first trade edition and this limited signed first edition, both issued by Alfred Knopf, and a signed first edition in leather issued by the Franklin Library.

This signed first edition is limited to 350 copies, printed and bound by Heritage Printers, issued with a slipcase and without a dust jacket designed by Peter Andersen, and the book boards covered with marbled paper prepared by Susan Pogany. The book comes with an original acetate cover. It is also worth noting that the slipcase seems somewhat too small for the book, resulting in an overly tight fit.

This is the signed limited first edition with the original acetate cover and slipcase, and without dust jacket, as issued. The slipcase is in dark blue, with design of thin light blue grid lines and a thick cardiograph line, and red fonts . The book is bound in marbled paper board with black clothed board at spine. The lettering on spine is gilt and the book has no topstain. The author signed on a special signature paper. The copyright page lacks the "First Trade Edition" found on the first trade edition.

This book is quite rare and a VG+ copy can be purchased from eBay or Abebooks from $400 onwards. This is a NF copy with a VF+ slipcase with some wear at the bottom, and a NF book.


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