Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon First Printing


The Infamous… Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon First Edition, First Printing 1973, one of 4,000 copies printed in New York.

Traversing a wide range of knowledge, Gravity’s Rainbow crosses boundaries between high and low culture, between literary propriety and profanity, and between science and speculative metaphysics.

The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and follows a lustful, paranoid, and confused main character who is always on the run… terrified of being decimated by a German V-2 Rocket at any given moment.

Although selected by the Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction for the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Pulitzer Advisory Board was offended by its content, some of which was described as “‘unreadable,’ offensive,’ ‘overwritten’ and in parts ‘obscene'”

No Pulitzer Prize was awarded for fiction that year. According to the Los Angeles Review of Books, ‘The Pulitzer Prize jury selected Gravity’s Rainbow to receive the prize for fiction, but the Pulitzer Advisory Board overruled them, electing not to give an award that year to avoid honoring a book they considered “unreadable,” “turgid,” and “obscene.”’

This gorgeous and elusive first edition is in arguably fine condition. The only minor imperfection found throughout the book is some light tape staining on the interior of its dust jacket, which isn’t even remotely noticeable unless you take off the dust jacket and examine the side of the spine that is hidden. Otherwise a fine true First Printing!

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