Cover image for Vonnegut in fact : the public spokesmanship of personal fiction
Vonnegut in fact : the public spokesmanship of personal fiction
Klinkowitz, Jerome.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Columbia : University of South Carolina Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
ix, 159 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PS3572.O5 Z748 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Central Library PS3572.O5 Z748 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This text offers readings and criticism of Kurt Vonnegut's three major works of nonfiction, his uncollected pieces and his manner of public speaking. It explains how Vonnegut's personal visions developed into a style of public responsibility that mirrored the growth of his fiction.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This well-written and authoritative book by a major critic and Vonnegut expert joins the many previous works on Vonnegut, notably Klinkowitz's own excellent Kurt Vonnegut (CH, Dec'82), and represents a useful addition to the growing body of work on this significant author. Klinkowitz (Univ. of Northern Iowa) perceptively addresses the body of Vonnegut's nonfiction works and public statements in depth, integrating them smoothly with the implicit messages of the fiction. He demonstrates how Vonnegut emerged from relative anonymity with his sixth novel, Slaughterhouse Five, and went on to become "the most widely recognized public spokesperson among writers since Mark Twain." In such collections as Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons (1974), Vonnegut collects his own reviews and articles, cumulatively constructing a cohesive vision and revealing an attractively modest public persona. As Klinkowitz shows in his intelligent introduction, although Vonnegut is "sometimes criticized as an apparent nihilist, [he] in fact brings a message that is hopeful. If life seems without purpose, perhaps it is because we have tried (and failed) to impose a purpose inappropriately." With its thorough bibliography, notes, and index, this study is recommended for all undergraduate collections. B. H. Leeds; Central Connecticut State University

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