Recommended Reading: Three New Books

Looking for something to read?  Consider the following Vonnegut and Vonnegut-related works.

VONNEGUT BY THE DOZEN

The Nation Books has published a small paperback containing twelve pieces written by Vonnegut and published in the venerable political journal The Nation.  Many of these pieces never appeared in any of Vonnegut’s non-fiction collections, so for many readers these pieces may qualify as “new.”  The oldest piece, a review of two novels by the Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem, dates back to 1978.  While few of these pieces are “classic” Vonnegut, each is of interest and Vonnegut fans will be grateful to have them in one collection.  The highlight is a 1980 interview between Vonnegut and Robert K. Musil subtitled, “There Must Be More To Life Than Death.”

THE BROTHERS VONNEGUT: SCIENCE AND FICTION IN THE HOUSE OF MAGIC by GINGER STRAND 

This book will be published next month by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  The Daily Vonnegut has yet to read it, but there’s a thoughtful review currently running in the November edition of The New Republic.  The book focuses on Vonnegut’s time at GE, and gives equal weight to Bernard Vonnegut and his work on cloud seeding and the other scientific endeavors conjured by the wizards at GE.  According to Evan Kindley’s review, author Strand had access to the personal archives of both brothers, including private letters.  While the review is mixed, Kindley does call the book “convincing and enjoyable” as an exercise in biographical literary criticism.  We’re looking forward to reading it when it’s published next month.

REBUILDING THE GE HOUSE THAT JACK BLEW DOWN: 40 YEARS OF CHUTZPAH AND SICK HUMOR AT GE by MARY KUYKENDALL 

Daily Vonnegut contributor Mary Kuykendall has published a memoir described as an insider’s view of egos and excesses in GE.  It’s the story of a woman’s journey, containing forty years of glass ceiling humor along with Mary’s insight on the company’s cultural shift from paternalism to materialism.  Vonnegut fans interested in GE should enjoy reading it.

 

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