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Kurt Vonnegut: Letters by Kurt Vonnegut
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Kurt Vonnegut: Letters (edition 2012)

by Kurt Vonnegut, Dan Wakefield (Editor)

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135288,991 (4.13)3
Member:kidstaple2012
Title:Kurt Vonnegut: Letters
Authors:Kurt Vonnegut
Other authors:Dan Wakefield (Editor)
Info:Delacorte Press (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Kurt Vonnegut: Letters by Kurt Vonnegut

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This was easily the best experience I have ever had reading the collected letters of an author, or of anyone. These personal letters exposed so much more of the man behind the public persona. The letters range from many notes to family members and friends, to Kurt's letters to his publishers, and even a letter here and there to people responsible for banning some of his books. His humor was often present, and his good heart was displayed time and time again. He might be casually and humorously writing about setting his house on fire with a stray cigarette, or reflecting on the fact that he was outliving many of his long-time friends. His practical nature was the firm base of many of his thoughts, but the pure whimsy that he loved to express in his books and letters, was such a joy. I'm richer for the reading. ( )
  jphamilton | Feb 13, 2014 |
Wonderful, warm, positive, encouraging, emotional, brilliantly written and always very, very funny letters which really make me wish to have known Vonnegut personally. Discreet comments put you into context and help you quickly understand who is whos and whats and whens of the particular letter without disturbing the actual thought. ( )
  flydodofly | Feb 2, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385343752, Hardcover)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Newsweek/The Daily Beast • The Kansas City Star

This extraordinary collection of personal correspondence has all the hallmarks of Kurt Vonnegut’s fiction. Written over a sixty-year period, these letters, the vast majority of them never before published, are funny, moving, and full of the same uncanny wisdom that has endeared his work to readers worldwide.
 
Included in this comprehensive volume: the letter a twenty-two-year-old Vonnegut wrote home immediately upon being freed from a German POW camp, recounting the ghastly firebombing of Dresden that would be the subject of his masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five; wry dispatches from Vonnegut’s years as a struggling writer slowly finding an audience and then dealing with sudden international fame in middle age; righteously angry letters of protest to local school boards that tried to ban his work; intimate remembrances penned to high school classmates, fellow veterans, friends, and family; and letters of commiseration and encouragement to such contemporaries as Gail Godwin, Günter Grass, and Bernard Malamud.
 
Vonnegut’s unmediated observations on science, art, and commerce prove to be just as inventive as any found in his novels—from a crackpot scheme for manufacturing “atomic” bow ties to a tongue-in-cheek proposal that publishers be allowed to trade authors like baseball players. (“Knopf, for example, might give John Updike’s contract to Simon and Schuster, and receive Joan Didion’s contract in return.”) Taken together, these letters add considerable depth to our understanding of this one-of-a-kind literary icon, in both his public and private lives. Each letter brims with the mordant humor and openhearted humanism upon which he built his legend. And virtually every page contains a quotable nugget that will make its way into the permanent Vonnegut lexicon.
 
• On a job he had as a young man: “Hell is running an elevator throughout eternity in a building with only six floors.”
• To a relative who calls him a “great literary figure”: “I am an American fad—of a slightly higher order than the hula hoop.”
• To his daughter Nanny: “Most letters from a parent contain a parent’s own lost dreams disguised as good advice.”
• To Norman Mailer: “I am cuter than you are.”
 
Sometimes biting and ironical, sometimes achingly sweet, and always alive with the unique point of view that made him the true cultural heir to Mark Twain, these letters comprise the autobiography Kurt Vonnegut never wrote.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:09 -0400)

A compilation of personal correspondence written over a sixty-year period offers insight into the iconic American author's literary personality, his experiences as a German POW, his struggles with fame, and the inspirations for his famous books.

(summary from another edition)

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