Some years back, my dad was browsing the shelves of NovelHut, Ipoh's best second-hand bookstore, and found a copy of Anthony Burgess's Time for a Tiger. Price? RM2. (That would be approximately USD$0.60 or GBP£0.30).
Did I mention it was a hardcover first edition? Here's the dedication page, with the famous dedication written in Jawi. Jawi is the Malay language written in Arab script, a norm early last century. Nowadays, Malay is written in Romanised form. The dedication says: "Kepada sahabat-sahabat saya di Tanah Melayu" which translates into "To my friends in Malaya." On the opposite page, proof this is the first edition.
A first edition is probably valuable by itself. But this copy has something extra that makes it even more special--a personal dedication by Burgess himself to a friend:
If you can't make the writing out, it says:
Lilian SivaramI think it is the MOST AWESOME THING EVER to have a book personally signed by a famous writer friend! (John Wilson is Anthony Burgess's real name.)
But a few questions arise:
- Who is Lilian Sivaram?
- Why was this book--obviously valuable to its owner--found in a second-hand bookstore in Ipoh going for merely a song?
It probably isn't far away from the truth. In the meantime, this book occupies a very special place in my library!