New York: The Viking Press, 1956. First Edition. The Nobel Prize-winning author's fourth book, containing the title novella, three short stories, and a one-act play. "The title piece, a truncated novelette which is heavily introspective, concerns a New York Jew who has failed miserably in marriage, as he longs for love and respect from his proud physician father, and earns a livelihood as a salesman and investor. During the moment of recognition he realizes that his life, dependent as it is on the past, is a futile anachronism" (Kirkus Review, Nov.1, 1956). Basis for Fielder Cook's 1986 film adaptation, starring Robin Williams and Jerry Stiller. A superior copy of an exceedingly difficult title, prone to heavy wear, with the spine almost always faded. Item #4395
Frist Printing. Octavo (21cm); black paper and yellow cloth-covered boards, with titles stamped in black on spine and in blind on front cover; yellow topstain; dustjacket; [viii],211,pp. Tiny ownership label of Black Sparrow Press publisher John K. Martin at lower edge of rear pastedown. Hint of sunning at crown, a handful of tiny foxed spots along front joint, else Fine. Dustjacket is unclipped (priced $3.00), with some trivial edge wear, with light dust-soil and some faint, scattered foxing to extremities, particularly along upper edge of rear flap and rear flap fold; a bright, Near Fine copy, the spine panel still a rich yellow, and no fading to the lettering.