Man Without a Country

ISBN-10: 158322713X
ISBN-13: 9781583227138
Edition: 2005
List price: $28.95 Buy it from $0.69
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Description: A Man without a Country is Kurt Vonnegut's hilarious and razor-sharp look at life ("If I die-God forbid-I would like to go to heaven to ask somebody in charge up there, 'Hey, what was the good news and what was the bad news?'"), art ("To practice  More...

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication date: 9/6/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 160
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

A Man without a Country is Kurt Vonnegut's hilarious and razor-sharp look at life ("If I die-God forbid-I would like to go to heaven to ask somebody in charge up there, 'Hey, what was the good news and what was the bad news?'"), art ("To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it."), politics ("I asked former Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton what he thought of our great victory over Iraq and he said, 'Mohammed Ali versus Mr. Rogers.'"), and the condition of the soul of America today ("What has happened to us?"). Gleaned from short essays and speeches composed over the last five years and plentifully illustrated with artwork by the author throughout, A Man Without a Country gives us Vonnegut both speaking out with indignation and writing tenderly to his fellow Americans, sometimes joking, at other times hopeless, always searching. Kurt Vonnegut is among the very few grandmasters of contemporary American letters, without whom the very term "American literature" would mean less than it does. His novels include Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse Five, among so many others. Projects with Seven Stories Press in recent years include God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian and, with Lee Stringer, Like Shaking Hands with God, a book about writing. His most recent novel is Timequake (1997). In addition to his writing, Vonnegut is a visual artist of note. His paintings and prints can be seen at www.vonnegut.com. He lives with his wife, photographer Jill Krementz, in New York City. Daniel Simon is the founder and publisher of Seven Stories Press and served as editor on two previous books by Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian and, with Lee Stringer, Like Shaking Hands God. Simon is also co-author of a biography of Abbie Hoffman, Run, Run, Run: The Lives of Abbie Hoffman.

The appeal of Kurt Vonnegut, especially to bright younger readers of the past few decades, may be attributed partly to the fact that he is one of the few writers who have successfully straddled the imaginary line between science-fiction/fantasy and "real literature." He was born in Indianapolis and attended Cornell University, but his college education was interrupted by World War II. Captured during the Battle of the Bulge and imprisoned in Dresden, he received a Purple Heart for what he calls a "ludicrously negligible wound." After the war he returned to Cornell and then earned his M.A. at the University of Chicago.He worked as a police reporter and in public relations before placing several short stories in the popular magazines and beginning his career as a novelist. His first novel, Player Piano (1952), is a highly credible account of a future mechanistic society in which people count for little and machines for much. The Sirens of Titan (1959), is the story of a playboy whisked off to Mars and outer space in order to learn some humbling lessons about Earth's modest function in the total scheme of things. Mother Night (1962) satirizes the Nazi mentality in its narrative about an American writer who broadcasts propaganda in Germany during the war as an Allied agent. Cat's Cradle (1963) makes use of some of Vonnegut's experiences in General Electric laboratories in its story about the discovery of a special kind of ice that destroys the world. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965) satirizes a benevolent foundation set up to foster the salvation of the world through love, an endeavor with, of course, disastrous results. Slaughterhouse-Five; or The Children's Crusade (1969) is the book that marked a turning point in Vonnegut's career. Based on his experiences in Dresden, it is the story of another Vonnegut surrogate named Billy Pilgrim who travels back and forth in time and becomes a kind of modern-day Everyman. The novel was something of a cult book during the Vietnam era for its antiwar sentiments. Breakfast of Champions (1973), the story of a Pontiac dealer who goes crazy after reading a science fiction novel by "Kilgore Trout," received generally unfavorable reviews but was a commercial success. Slapstick (1976), dedicated to the memory of Laurel and Hardy, is the somewhat wacky memoir of a 100-year-old ex-president who thinks he can solve society's problems by giving everyone a new middle name. In addition to his fiction, Vonnegut has published nonfiction on social problems and other topics, some of which is collected in Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons (1974). He died from head injuries sustained in a fall on April 11, 2007.

Dan Simon is Professor of Law and Psychology at the University of Southern California.

As a kid I was the youngest
Do you know what a twerp is?
Here is a lesson in creative writing
I'm going to tell you some news
Okay, now let's have some fun
I have been called a Lddite
I turned eighty-two on November II
Do you know what a humanist is?
Do unto others
A sappy woman from Ypsilanti
Now then, I have some good news
I used to be the owner and manager of an automobile dealership
Requiem
Author's Note

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