Richard Stern died on 24 January: the New York Times obituary has warm praise from Philip Roth:
“He was an inspiring figure as a literature professor and an ace of great virtuosity as a novelist, short story writer, essayist and raconteur[...]"
Mr. Roth recalled an afternoon in the mid-1950s when he and Mr. Stern were having lunch.
“I began telling him the story of how I spent my previous summer in New Jersey,” Mr. Roth said. “And he said, ‘Write it down.’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Write it down.’ And that was ‘Goodbye, Columbus’ ” — the title novella of Mr. Roth’s first book.
I blogged about his novel Golk three years ago. Here, as a special treat, is another Penguin cover:
From the back cover:
"...that almost impossible rarity, a novel that can be seriously recommended for its style alone" NEW STATESMAN
Two adventurous Americans, Baggish and Schreiber, set out immediately after World War II to exploit the sprawling, winded continent of Europe.
Schreiber, older, fat, divorced, is looking for a love to compare with his wartime French girl Micheline. Baggish, younger, sharper and less disillusioned, is out for anything he can get.
What they get, and how they get it, makes a very good story...
The epigraph is from Nietzsche: "Every man of character has a typical experience which recurs over and over again."
Originally published 1961; this is the first Penguin edition, 1966, cover design by Lou Klein. Not common: my £4.50 on eBay was good going.