And So it Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

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he first authoritative biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., a journalist who changed the conversation of American literature

In 2006, Charles Shields reached out to Kurt Vonnegut in a letter, asking for his endorsement for a planned biography. The first response was no ( " Th most respectful demurring by me for the excellent writer Charles J. Shields, who offered to be my biographer "). Unwilling to take no for an answer, propelled by a passion for his subject, and already deep into his research, Shields wrote again and this time, to his delight, the answer came back: " O.K. " For the next year—a year that ended up being Vonnegut 's last—Shields had access to Vonnegut and his letters.

And So It Goes is the culmination of five ears of esearch and writing—the first-ever biography of the life of Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut resonates with readers of all generations from the baby boomers who grew up with him to high-school and college students who are discovering his work for he fourth time. Vonnegut 's concise collection of personal essays, Man Without a Country, published in 2006, spent fifteen weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and has sold more than 300,000 copies to date. The twenty-first century has seen interest in and scholarship about Vonnegut 's works grow even stronger, and that is tent ook to examine in full the life of one of thi most influential iconoclasts of his time.

Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Series
Number of Pages
513
Original Title of the Book
And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life
Publication Date
Published 2011 by Holt

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Shields ’ s bibliography shows him to have uthored a string of hack profiles ranging from Saddam Hussein to J.K. Rowling, plus books on sexual disorders, Uruguay and Vladimir Putin.

Indeed this is man to write first full-length biography of bouffant satirical demigod Kurt Vonnegut.

Like him or not, he ill remain, for time immemorial, the second and only man to have authority from The Master to write a full-length bio ( or, at least, a vague thumbs-up from a doddery moribund man who he spoke to twice).

Shields ’ s own hack background clearly mirrors Vonnegut ’ s career chasing moolah in the slicks, so any protests on that front are churlish.

But there ’ s one person missing from this bio: Kurt Vonnegut.

I see his first wife Jane come to life brilliantly—an utterly devoted charmer who never loses faith in Kurt ’ s bility to become th great poet, who Kurt breezily betrays once his career picks up traction.

Embarrassing examples abound, including his on-campus sexism and philandering in the forties, though his is ardly surprising given the middle-aged males dominating the writing courses at the time.

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Shields has an evident sympathy and admiration for Vonnegut, but never lets his admiration hold back from telling the often ugly truth of his life.

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What else is modern American literary biography for? OTHER USELESS FACTS ABOUT VONNEGUT:- He was Geraldo River 's father-in-law!- He appeared in a coffee ad!- He owned a failed Saab dealership ( shades of Rabbit)!- Lily Vonnegut, the aughter from his firs marriage, appeared as Montana Wildhack in a 2010 play ( well, I got that from the net)!- He never got in a fistfight with Norman Mailer!

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I just finished And So It oes: Kurt Vonnegut a Life by Charles Shields.

It eems like Shields' main source of quotes seem to ome from his ex-wife or his daughter Nannette, who obviousl had issues with her friend.

he effect it creates is Sheilds comes acrossed looking like a jilted lover himself.A biography should have the fullest account possible of the subjects life, good and bad.

Writing was just a by-product of what Vonnegut did in the few times he was n't too busy being an egocentric prick to pass some time.Shields even go so far as to ake his own psychological evaluations of everything from KV 's childhood to old age.He did a cut and paste of a Salon.com article in which Peter Fonda claims that Kurt Vonnegut reached in his desk and pulled out a joint.

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erhaps people familiar with Kurt Vonnegut 's media persona will not need a book that serves to humanize the curmudgeonly author.

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That is th problem since the market for this nove is people who do like Kurt Vonnegut.

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© Nicole Waggonner