Our shops are open and we are processing online, telephone and email orders as normal

DICK, Philip K.

A significant archive of correspondence from the collection of his third wife and biographer Anne Williams Rubinstein Dick.

Los Angeles, CA, and elsewhere: c.1965-91 Stock Code: 97282
Reserve Ask us a question

From his biographer's archive

Philip K. Dick was married to his third wife Anne Williams Rubinstein from 1 April 1959 to October 1965. Long after their divorce, in mid-1973, Anne burned most of their earlier correspondence, but they renewed contact in December 1973. The ultimate fruit of this was her biography, Search for Philip K. Dick, 1928-1982; A Memoir and Biography of the Science Fiction Writer (Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1995). The correspondence includes a copy of the famous "Tagore" letter written by Philip K. Dick in 1981, a 2-page photocopied letter from PKD to Edmund Meskys, editor of the fanzine Niekas, which was mailed to perhaps 85 or so correspondents, following a revelation that PKD had in September 1981.

The typed letters signed from PKD to Anne are:

1) Los Angeles, 26 Dec. 1973, 2 pages, signed "Phil"; a highly important letter discussing in depth the difficulty of life in Los Angeles, the television and film business, the novel he has been working on for years and is shortly to be published (Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, 1974), his poor health ("I saw Mr Death standing in the corner of the bedroom; he wore a modern polyester suit and carried an attaché case"); partially published in Anne R. Dick, The Search for Philip K. Dick (2010), pp. 171-2;

2) Fullerton, 17 Mar. 1974, 1 page, signed "Phil"; on the illness of their old friend and neighbour Lorraine Hynes; PKD quotes Yeats's "A Friend's Illness" ("There is something strange and powerful about this poem, with the true magic of healing for us the glimpse of the next world's terrible joy lying behind everything now, here already. As one finds in so many of Yeats' poems");

3) No place, 3 Aug. 1975, 1 page, signed "Phil" with a pierced heart, with envelope; cancelling a planned visit from their daughter Laura because of the need to type up the manuscript of his collaboration with Robert Zelazny (published as Deus Irae in July 1976, only one month late, after 12 years of writing); his new editor at Doubleday is enforcing the deadline, which he must meet because he is deeply in debt;

4) Santa Ana, 12 Dec. 1976, 1 page, signed "Phil" and "Dad"; he sends Laura money to buy a car, writes of his poverty the previous year, thoughts on bring Doris Sauter to Point Reyes Station for Christmas; manuscript postscript ("sorryI got snuff on the lettermy old vice"); partly quoted in SFPKD (2010), p. 184;

5) Santa Ana, 1 Apr. 1977, 1 page, signed "Phil", with envelope; about his relationship with Laura and his right to have her visit ("Back around 1971 before I flew up to Canada admittedly I had a screwed-up lifestyle. Now, however, I am Mr Clean, Mr Straight"); manuscript postscript encloses the "Hermetic Rose Cross the logo of our order AMORC. I send it to you as a Blessing";

6) No place, 26 Sept. 1981, 1 page, signed "Phil", with enclosure of the "Tagore" letter (a "Xeroxed letter, which I am sending out to people who have read my recent novel VALIS. It is not necessary to have read VALIS, however; the letter explains itself"); he is busy with the movie Blade Runner ("I try to stay aloof, but they have me doing interviews, which I enjoy, but they are tiring").

Also with a copy typed letter signed from PKD to his daughter and former wife ("Dear Laura and Anne"), 27 Feb. 1975, 3 pages; gives details of 2 articles written about him in the New Yorker, discusses fruitless negotiations with Hollywood producers and actors, and encloses a real example of Henny Youngman's famous card with a picture of his Pride and Joy (card not present).

The letters from Anne to PKD are:

7) No place, no date c.1965, 7 pages; ("Dear Philip, I wonder if your silence means anything") a long letter musing on their forthcoming divorce, giving news of a party she had recently held in their house, her business successes, and their friends, before returning repeatedly to the subject of their imminent divorce, ending by asking PKD to make the next move, the letter perhaps not sent;

8) No place, no date, c.1965, 1 page; ("Dear Phil") writing after a successful Christmas visit from PKD, thanking him for gifts, relates news that the Californian sculptor William Geis has read and admires his work, and describes friendships with members of Synanon, the controversial alternative community that provided the model for the New-Path drug treatment centres in A Scanner Darkly. (PKD's novel VALIS begins with the initial romantic interest committing suicide off of the tenth floor of the Synanon building in Oakland, California);

9) Point Reyes Station, no date, but c. Dec. 1973, 2 pages, "Dear Philip and family"; giving family news after some time without regular contact. It is this letter that induced PKD's response in letter 1 above and re-established their correspondence.

The remaining items are:

10) "Some thoughts about Confessions of a Crap Artist", typescript, no date, 2 pages; Anne reacts to PKD's portrayal of her in the book ("I think he was so calculating he was completely unable to understand that there were people who weren't The whole chapter (the whole book) if it is based on me is really a coarse and defamatory portrait. But Phil doesn't show his nice persona here either");

11) typed letter signed from Ray Nelson, science fiction author and sometime collaborator with PKD, to Anne, El Cerrito, CA, with envelope franked 6 Sept. 1989, 5 pages, single spaced: reacts to reading the manuscript of Anne's book, about PKD's life, writing, drug dealing, etc.("I feel a perhaps irrational certainty that if he had lived to see his movie a financial success, if he had been able at last to come back to you, not as a failure and a burden, but as a man of wealth and success, he would have come courting, as they say, at your door. He would have come home");

12) typescript "In a Phil Dick Universe", cover and 8 pages; Ray Nelson's unpublished foreword to Anne's biography;

14) typed letter signed from Paul Williams, PKD's friend and literary executor, to Anna, Glen Ellen, CA, 8 Mar. 1982, 1 page; sends duplicates of books from his private collection, discusses some of them, and gives a list of PKD's "unpublished, 'mainstream' novels", sends apologies for not being able to make the funeral services and wake;

15) Sam Umland, 23 page draft of his article about E. G. Kindred, PKD's maternal grandfather, and discussing Anne's then unpublished biography SFPKD, with cover letter, 3 Nov. 1991.

Confused? Read our glossary


Together 15 items, 6 typed letters signed from PKD to Anne, 3 letters from Anne to PKD, and 6 other related items (see below). Housed in a black quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book