During a private event on the UCLA campus last week, the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program celebrated receipt of a rare collection of personalized first edition novels written by the critically acclaimed and very private author, Thomas Pynchon.

The books were donated to the Writers’ Program by twenty one-year veteran-instructor Phyllis Gebauer who received the books from Pynchon during a friendship that has spanned nearly fifty years.

Each book is endearingly and personally inscribed by Pynchon to Phyllis and her husband, the late Fred Gebauer. The collection is the only known full set of books in existence that are personally inscribed by Pynchon.

Phyllis, who still remains close to “Tom,” as she refers to him, consulted him on the donation and said he gave it his blessing.

“Tom was happy to hear I’d given my collection to UCLA Extension,” Phyllis said. “He spent many hours in the research library on campus when he was working on Gravity’s Rainbow.”

On behalf of the Writers’ Program, thank you, Phyllis, for this extremely generous gift that will touch the lives of so many.

For a detailed story on the event by Los Angeles Times blog writer, Carolyn Kellogg, click here.

To view photos from the event in the Writers’ Program Facebook photo album, click here.

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