First edition, first printing, inscribed by the author on the front and rear free endpapers to the winner of a charity auction, and signed on the title page. The inscription reads: “This book is inscribed to the winner of the auction; the book appears to have been donated by my friend Red; I am donating only this scribbling, which I am glad to do as it is very little; I should like someday to donate a very great deal, as it is better to donate than to need; this auction appears to be for a U.N. charity (I do not know what a U.N. charity is), sponsored by Mrs. George T. Eliot, at the St. Regis Hotel with prizes, of which this must surely be a poor one; I extend my heartfelt sympathy, as the saying is; I must warn the winner that if he undertakes to read the stories in this book, there are several typographical errors in them, although no-one but the author has ever known the difference; this is the first edition; there was no second. Inasmuch as I would like this prize to be a little less disappointing” (here, the inscription breaks off and continues on the rear free endpaper) “to the surprised winner than I am sure it shall be, I am breaking a rule of inscription by continuing this one here – at the back of the book. It isn’t much, but it’s something, and it’s the spirit (of the thing) that counts anyhow. Now that I have made a mess of a perfectly nice little prize I shall now withdraw. I am, Sir or Madam, yours truly, William Saroyan. New York, November, 1944. Give money to your poor friends – they can use it, – it will surprise them.” Saroyan has also crossed out the text on the half-title “Editing by William Saroyan, July 4, 1914, London” and written below it “Not For Publication”.
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Octavo. Original grey and pink boards, titles to spine and front board grey and pink. With the dust jacket. Spine toned and gently rolled, spine ends and tips rubbed, a few slight marks to boards. An excellent copy in the lightly toned jacket with some chips to extremities and minor loss to spine ends.