A loving, intimate memoir from a lifelong friend of Kurt Vonnegut, including photos and never-before-published correspondence
When Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ducked into his classroom at the Iowa Writer's Workshop in September of 1965, his jokes drew only weak laughter and a few rolled eyes. But workshop student Loree Rackstraw was quietly impressed by this “great bear of a man” and his down-to-earth sensibilities about writing.
That fall, an impossible romance began between the then-unknown author and his student—a brief affair that matured into a joyful, lifelong friendship. Rackstraw distills four decades of memories and Vonnegut's letters to her into an affectionate memoir that crackles with the creative energy of one of America's most beloved writers.
Rackstraw's unique perspective on Vonnegut's life and how it shaped his famous works portrays a deeply humane man who looked for the humor and absurdity in life in order to survive. And then there are Vonnegut's own letters: Whether energetic about new projects or frustrated with the “game” of writing and selling “a gazoolian copies,” Vonnegut writes with the playful imagination and generous, accessible brilliance that have always been his trademarks.