Sunday, December 4, 2011


From: Manhattan Rare Book Company

"A new biography [And So It Goes, by Charles Shields] of acclaimed American author Kurt Vonnegut, beloved by fans worldwide for his work's warm humour and homespun Midwestern wisdom, has shocked many with a portrayal of a bitter, angry man prone to depression and fits of temper. [...]
     'It is a little naive to be surprised by this,' said Gregory Sumner of the University of Detroit Mercy, who recently wrote a book exploring Vonnegut's work, called Unstuck In Time. 'Personal relationships were difficult for him. He had a lot of survivor's guilt.'
     Vonnegut definitely had survived a lot. His once wealthy family was impoverished by the Great Depression, causing grim strains in his parents' marriage. His mother committed suicide. His beloved sister died of breast cancer, a day after her husband was killed in a train accident. But the defining horror of Vonnegut's life was his wartime experience and surviving the Dresden bombing, only to be sent into the ruins as prison labour in order to collect and burn the corpses. The ordeal cropped up continually in his work, but most notably formed the basis of Slaughterhouse-Five, the book that made Vonnegut famous.
     But there was more to it than just coping with such traumatic situations. In later life, despite being hailed by so many as an American genius, Vonnegut felt that the literary establishment never took him seriously. They interpreted his simplistic style, love of science fiction and Midwestern values as being beneath serious study." — Paul Harris, Guardian

Get And So It Goes, Unstuck In Time, and all of Kurt Vonnegut's books here...

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