Thom Geier
September 01, 2009 AT 01:45 PM EDT

Was 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, 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

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