December 2, 2014

Dec 2


The First Editions, Second Thoughts Auction has public relations representatives at Rubenstein Communications and PEN American Center who can field inquiries about the auction and lots, as well as arrange interviews. Members of the press requesting an interview must be on assignment; interviews will not be arranged for journalists working on spec.


Alison Hendrie, Rubenstein Communications, (212) 843-8029, email hidden; JavaScript is required
Sarah Edkins, PEN American Center, (212) 334-1660 x 116, email hidden; JavaScript is required

Download the full Press Kit here.

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03 December 2014

A First Edition Auction, With the Writers Nervously Looking On

The New York Times

“It’s hard not to think, ‘Does this reflect my worth?” Mr. Muldoon said. “But this auction is really about people’s generosity to PEN. And at least in my case, the price is much more than I’m worth.”
03 December 2014

PEN American Center Auction Raises $1 Million

Associated Press

Annotated copies of the novels Portnoy's Complaint and American Pastoral brought in more than $130,000 Tuesday night at a PEN American Center benefit auction hosted by Christie's. PEN raised $1 million overall, a major boost for the literary and human rights organization.
06 November 2014

First Editions, Second Thoughts

The New York Times

On December 2, Christie's will auction 75 first-edition books, each of which is a unique object that has been annotated with words and/or illustrations by its author.
20 November 2014

Collecting Modernism: Reconsidering

The Economist

INK is indelible; once printed, books cannot be rewritten. Or can they?  Seventy-five artists and authors have offered additions to their books, which will be auctioned at Christie’s in New York on December 2nd to benefit PEN America Center.
06 November 2014

Toni Morrison, Patti Smith hand-annotate books for PEN benefit

Los Angeles Times

For the Dec. 2 auction, titled First Editions/Second Thoughts, authors picked up first editions of their works and made notations and drawings in them by hand. Some messages explain their intent, others their process, and other times, just a feeling.
10 November 2014

A Book Collectors Dream Auction to Benefit Pen America

Book Patrol

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.
11 November 2014

Pen American Center’s First Edition / Second Thoughts Auction Includes Works We Could Only Dream Of Owning


Literature-lovers anywhere: If you’re planning a trip to New York City anytime soon, make sure it falls around the end of November. The organizers of PEN American Center’s First Edition / Second Thoughts auction have asked your favorite authors to annotate their iconic works of literature...on display for the public at Christie’s New York until they are auctioned on December 2.
24 November 2014

Vulture’s 2014 Pop-Culture Gift Guide

New York Magazine

Find something for every art and culture obsessive on your list with this selection of books, Blu-rays, albums, and a couple of big-ticket oddballs we couldn't help but throw in...This first edition of Bridge to Terabithia, annotated by the author, is being auctioned to benefit the PEN America Center.
25 November 2014

First Editions, Second Thoughts

Australian Broadcasting Company

The list of writers involved reads like a 'who's who' of literature today: Paul Auster, Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Amy Tan, Patti Smith, Peter Carey and more.
07 November 2014

Roth ‘Shocked and Pleased’ Rereading Portnoy


While the selection of writers whose books are on offer—Robert Caro, Jennifer Egan, George Saunders—is impressive, Roth’s participation allows us an unusual glimpse into how the press-averse writer feels about one particularly infamous creation he let loose into the cultural landscape: Alexander Portnoy.
24 November 2014

First Editions, Second Thoughts

Fine Books and Collections

Turkish author Orhan Pamuk filled his Snow with original watercolors, while George Saunders provides what resembles a crazed copyedit in various inks and highlighter colors in his CivilWarLand in Bad Decline.
24 November 2014

In My Library: Jay McInerney

New York Post

Hard to believe, but Bright Lights, Big City came out 30 years ago. McInerney is annotating a copy for PEN’s Dec. 2 auction, and believes his first novel holds up well.
11 November 2014

The Three Things You Learn When Famous Writers Reread Their Old Books


Ask writers to meditate on their past writerly personas, and you will mostly get further demonstrations of ongoing writerly personas.
24 November 2014

Knowing My Place

The Paris Review

On December 2, PEN American Center presents “First Editions, Second Thoughts,” an auction of seventy-five annotated first editions at Christie’s New York, including work by Philip Roth, Don DeLillo, and Jane Smiley, among others. Paul Muldoon’s first chapbook, Knowing My Place, is one of the books up for auction....Knowing My Place is so hard to come by that The Paris Review’s Art of Poetry interview with him makes no mention of it.
06 November 2014

Cover Model

The Paris Review

But if Roth has that stressed, I-can’t-bear-to-look thing going on—anxiety chic—it’s not because he’s out of his depth in the modeling game. It’s because he’s been rereading his own work, always a dicey proposition.
15 September 2014

The pen is mightier than the… hammer?

The Art Newspaper

I was thinking about how fragile neon is," Ligon says. "And, by extension, how fragile words are, how they can be made to disappear, which is a central tension or metaphor in my work.” He adds that “the PEN auction is about celebrating the resilience of words in the face of attempts to erase them.
21 November 2014

Notes to self: from Philip Roth to Gillian Flynn, authors look back at their work

The Guardian

What is it like to reread Portnoy’s Complaint at 80? What inspired the name of the town in Gone Girl? Writers from Philip Roth to Gillian Flynn and from Toni Morrison to Richard Ford have returned to their own work to annotate a selection of first editions.
16 November 2014

Old Books, New Thoughts

T: The Style Magazine of the New York Times

‘Rereading Portnoy’s Complaint 45 years on, I am shocked and pleased: shocked that I could have been so reckless, pleased that I was so reckless.’ In an original essay, Philip Roth considers the experience of rereading his classic novel, first published 45 years ago, in 1969... for an auction in December in which 75 first-edition books annotated by their authors will be sold through Christie’s to benefit PEN American Center.