First Editions / Second Thoughts: A Book Collectors Dream Auction to Benefit Pen America November 10, 2014 – Posted in: Bookselling / Collecting, Content, Reading / Literacy – Tags: , ,

pen ruscha

Outlined in ink and filled with a deep crimson oil paint, the words “PAST STUFF” have been hand-painted on the front cover of the third volume of Ed Ruscha’s Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings by Ruscha. Underscoring this work’s unique quality, traces of the brushstroke are visible in the paint, and the hand-painted letters have wavering borders. A red censor-like block has also been painted over Ruscha’s name on the text’s spine.

 The goal of the Pen American Center is simple and to be supported at all cost:  To defend freedom of expression and to celebrate the literature that such freedom makes possible.

To further the cause seventy-five writers and artists have contributed work to First Editions / Second Thoughts, an auction to be held at Christie’s on December 2 to benefit the Pen American Center.

This is much more than an auction of first editions donated by their authors.  It is a gathering of unique copies of important works. “Through annotations including notes, essays, drawings, photographs, letters to the reader, and inserted memorabilia, each contributor has transformed a first edition of a classic work into a distinct new artifact for one lucky buyer.”


pen DelilloDon DeLillo, Underworld


If you collect one of these authors/artists or inscribed copies or Modern First Editions this is where you dip into the piggy bank. The speculation is removed and you are presented with a unique opportunity. And best of all you support an organization that is committed to preserving the foundation from which these works arise.


pen belovedToni Morrison, Beloved

pen patti smithPatti Smith, Just Kids

pen mcinerneyJay McInerney, Bright Lights Big City


The New York Times featured the auction in T Magazine and offered this video of  Robert A. Caro, Paul Auster and Jane Smiley reflecting on the process of revisiting their past works.

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