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SAROYAN, William.

Dear Baby.

Published: New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1944

Stock code: 101768

Price: £575

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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also crossed out the text on the half-title “Editing by William Saroyan, July 4, 1914, London” and written below it “Not For Publication”.

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.

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