Books | Shelf Life

Truman Capote signed one of his books ... to Harry Potter

harry-potter-half-blood_l

harry-potter-half-blood_lWas J.K. Rowling prowling used bookstores in New Jersey for inspiration for her best-selling series? Howard Rose of Brier Rose Books in Teaneck, N.J., is selling a first-edition copy of Truman Capote’s 1967 book The Thanksgiving Visitor, autographed by the author in January 1978 “for Harry Potter with gratitude.” The book is for sale on AbeBooks.com, the used-book e-tailer whose Reading Copy Book Blog first reported the curiosity. The asking price: a whopping $1,000, well above the average for the title. (Other first editions of The Thanksgiving Visitor on AbeBooks run between $60-75, while the cheapest signed copy is on offer for $375.)

Rose didn’t have to go to Privet Drive in Little Whinging to find the Capote book – just New Jersey’s Bergen County and the home of a doctor bearing the name of a future boy wizard. “Several years ago, I was called into a home and this book was among some others tossed into a basket in the garage,” says Rose, a former administrator at Fairleigh Dickinson University who’s been a book dealer for 14 years. “It wasn’t until later that I discovered it was signed. This Harry Potter was a physician. He may have been Capote’s physician, for all I know. Many doctors around Englewood had offices in the city. Maybe his specialty was helping people with writer’s cramp.”

Photo credit: Melissa Moseley

Originally posted September 1 2009 — 9:45 AM EDT

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