And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

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And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

by Charles J Shields

Henry Holt and Co. | November 7, 2013 | Hardcover

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A New York Times Notable Book for 2011

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011

The first authoritative biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., a writer 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 ("A 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 years of research 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 the first 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 this is the first book to examine in full the life of one of the most influential iconoclasts of his time.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 528 pages, 9.53 × 6.49 × 1.7 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0805086935

ISBN - 13: 9780805086935

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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– More About This Product –

And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

by Charles J Shields

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 528 pages, 9.53 × 6.49 × 1.7 in

Published: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0805086935

ISBN - 13: 9780805086935

About the Book

The first authoritative and authorized biography of a writer who changed the conversation of American literature, "And So It Goes" is the culmination of five years of research and writing. The 21st century has seen interest in and scholarship about Vonnegut's works grow even stronger, and this is the first book to examine in full the life of one of the most influential iconoclasts of his time. 528 pp. 50,000 print.

Read from the Book

1: You Were an Accident1922-1940The wedding of Kurt Vonneguts parents, Edith Sophia Lieber and Kurt Vonnegut Sr. on November 22, 1913, in Indianapolis, Indiana, was spectacular.Ediths father, Albert, owner of a giant brewery who reveled in his reputation as one of the richest men in the city, threw a gargantuan reception at the Claypool Hotel at the northwest corner of Washington and Illinois streets, reputed to be the finest hotel in the Midwest. There were six hundred guests, and those not chauffeured in automobiles arrived in horse-drawn carriages with jingling brass harnessesan entire generation of rich Edwardians, silk-hatted or covered demurely by parasols, many of whom had been raised in Indianapoliss mansions on Meridian Street.1 Albert Lieber knew what his guests expected and he did not disappoint. There was a sixty-foot bar, choice meats, champagne, and dancing to an orchestra in the ballroom lasting until six in the morning.And to the satisfaction of some guests, there was plenty of gossip to go around, too. The bride had graduated from Miss Shipleys finishing school in Bryn Mawr outside Philadelphia in time to come out for the 1908 season in London. Her first serious suitor, Kenneth Doulton, whose family owned the world famous Royal Doulton Porcelain Works, had proposed. He said his father would buy them a house in Mayfair, hinting that they could live very well if her father would settle a good-sized dowry on her. But she suspected he was an upper-class idler wh
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From the Publisher

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011

A Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book for 2011

The first authoritative biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr., a writer 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 ("A 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 years of research 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 the first 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 this is the first book to examine in full the life of one of the most influential iconoclasts of his time.

About the Author

Charles J. Shields is the author of And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, the highly acclaimed, bestselling biography of Harper Lee, and I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). He grew up in the Midwest and taught in a rural school in central Illinois for several years. He has been a reporter for public radio, a journalist, and the author of nonfiction books for young people. He and his wife live near Charlottesville, Virginia.

Editorial Reviews

Vonnegut once said that he kept losing and regaining his equilibrium, and Shields dexterously captures the ups and downs of Vonnegut's life and work in this definitive biography.