- Goodbye, Columbus
- Philip Roth
- Houghton Mifflin, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1959
Goodbye, Columbus is Philip Roth’s first work of fiction. It consists of the title work — a short novel — and five short stories. Roth was awarded a Literary Fellowship before this book was published, and it won the National Book Award in 1960.
Many reviewers think Goodbye, Columbus is one of the best debut stories of all time. Saul Bellow said in his 1959 review, ”Unlike those of us who come howling into the world, blind and bare, Mr. Roth appears with nails, hair, teeth, speaking coherently. He is skilled, witty, energetic and performs like a virtuoso.”
Roth has since written twenty-six more works of fiction, as well as several works of non-fiction. He is one of the most awarded writers of all time; his awards include the Pulitzer Prize, the Pen/Faulkner Award, and the Booker Prize.
This is the true first edition, signed on a tipped-in bookplate. I would rate its condition as good, with moderate wear to the head and foot of the spine and tape residue on the lower spine.
Unfortunately, this copy, like most first printings does not have its original dust jacket. The original dust jackets were extremely prone to problems, not the least of which is that they tend to disintegrate, unless they were well cared for from the start. Severe dust jacket problems are so ubiquitous, in fact, that I would be a little suspicious about jackets in better than fair condition.
There are no signed copies for sale on-line today without dust jackets, but there are a few with dust jackets. All but the most expensive of them are signed on bookplates, like this one, and prices start at $2,000 and go up to $4,000 plus. I would think that the value of this copy would be about $1,400.