11 October 2002
CHEEVER, John. Falconer. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977.
8o. Original black cloth; printed dust jacket. Provenance: Malcolm Cowley (1898-1989), literary critic and writer (presentation inscription; TLS from Knopf laid-in).
FIRST EDITION. A VERY FINE LITERARY, AND LATER FAMILY, ASSOCIATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY CHEEVER TO MALCOLM COWLEY on the front free endpaper: "To Malcolm and Muriel with love. John Cheever." With a TLS from Knopf to Cowley thanking him for his kind review of the book.
Cheever set much of this novel at Sing Sing prison, where he had taught night school in the early 1970s. Cowley had published one of Cheever's earliest pieces, on being expelled from prep school for smoking, in the New Republic in 1935. In later years Cowley and Cheever became in-laws when Cowley's son Rob and Cheever's daughter Susan married. The union was brief, but Cowley and Cheever remained close until Cheever's death in 1981.
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