Love as Always, Kurt: Vonnegut as I Knew Him

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Da Capo Press, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 282 pages
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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.

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Love as always, Kurt: Vonnegut as I knew him

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Rackstraw (emerita, Univ. of Northern Iowa) appreciably enhances Vonnegut's renown with her own interpretation of the events of Vonnegut's life and with excerpts of his letters spanning four decades ... Read full review



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About the author (2009)

Loree Rackstraw is Professor Emeritus at the University of Northern Iowa. A former fiction editor of The North American Review, Rackstraw holds degrees from Grinnell College and the University of Iowa. She lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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