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  • Published: 5 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9781644210215
  • Imprint: Seven Stories Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $34.99
Categories:

Pity the Reader

On Writing with Style




Kurt Vonnegut used to like to say, "Practicing an art form is a way to grow your soul." He would screw up his lips into a prune face after he said this because of how important he believed this idea to be. Pity the Reader is the very embodiment of that idea, a book about writing and life and why the two go together.

It includes rare photos and reproductions, Vonnegut's own account in his own words of how he became a writer and why it matters, and previously untold stories by and about Vonnegut as teacher and friend.

It turns out he was generous to a fault about students' writing, idiosyncratic, a bit tortured and always creative as a teacher, and here in this book that portrait becomes our gateway into getting to know Kurt Vonnegut better than we ever have before as a human being.

Vonnegut recounts that his favorite work of art among all those his children produced "so far" is a letter his daughter Nanette wrote to a disgruntled customer, after he had tormented a new waitress at the restaurant where she had just started working, and then he shares the letter with us. Thus he illustrates his first writing rule: "Find a subject you care about." This book is full of such rare, intimately teachable moments, and they add up to something special. Pity the Reader indeed.

  • Published: 5 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9781644210215
  • Imprint: Seven Stories Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $34.99
Categories:

About the authors

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis in 1922 and studied biochemistry at Cornell University. An army intelligence scout during the Second World War, he was captured by the Germans and witnessed the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombers, an experience which inspired his classic novel Slaughterhouse-Five. After the war he worked as a police reporter, an advertising copywriter and a public relations man for General Electric. His first novel Player Piano (1952) achieved underground success. Cat's Cradle (1963) was hailed by Graham Greene as 'one of the best novels of the year by one of the ablest living authors'. His eighth book, Slaughterhouse-Five was published in 1969 and was a literary and commercial success, and was made into a film in 1972. Vonnegut is the author of thirteen other novels, three collections of stories and five non-fiction books. Kurt Vonnegut died in 2007.

Praise for Pity the Reader

“A love song for the writing life by one of the world’s finest humanist writers, Kurt Vonnegut’s wry and compassionate voice is given a resonant echo chamber here by the wise and abidingly respectful presence of his former graduate student, Suzanne McConnell. Part homage, part memoir, and a 100

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