RIP, Kurt Vonnegut

April 12th, 2007

VonnegutKurt Vonnegut was not a woman. I’m not even sure he was particularly nice to them. But I’m still saddened by his death. Vonnegut was one of the first writers who made me want to write stuff that was funny. And now he’s gone. So it goes.

You can read about his life here — as well as how he held down a series of bullshit jobs until he was able to make a living as a full-time writer. And therein, Virginia, lies the work tie-in.

Entry Filed under: Coffee break,Creative process

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Storey  |  April 12th, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Please enjoy this stirring video tribute to the life of the late Mr. Vonnegut:

  • 2. Lorrie  |  April 12th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    I was very sad to hear of his death. Vonnegut was one of my favorite authors.

    BTW, I just missed your reading in San Francisco. I was there a couple days after from vacationing in Europe. My BF and I then flew back to our home in Portland, OR.

    I did buy your book….I’ve been self-employed since 1999 and absolutely love it! Your book is terrific!

  • 3. Michelle Goodman  |  April 12th, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    thanks for the vid, storey, and the kudos, lorrie. how nice to hear! i’m really sorry i missed meeting you too. BUT… i’ll be in portland in early june, for another project: see the portland events on that site. i’ll be at those. i was planning to announce this tomorrow. and to see if anyone wanted to host an anti 9-to-5 salon with me during the day while i’m down there. we could talk self-employment, i could give tips and sign books, we could have us a grand old time…

  • 4. xina  |  April 13th, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    i am so sad he’s gone! i love(d) his wit, his sensitivity, his imagine, and his strong opinions! an articulate and passionate man to the very end (did you see his interview with jon stewart?!)
    he gave the commencement speech at my college graduation in 1994. he redubbed us generation A – a clean slate from the stigma fo generation X. i love his stories in welcome to the monkey house – especially “unready to wear.”

  • 5. Lisa  |  April 16th, 2007 at 11:36 am

    I was just one and so did not attend the 1966 beer party KV threw for Saul Bellow in his Iowa City home. But as a UI student in the 80s, I used to walk by the “Vonnegut House” on Van Buren and imagine him writing Slaughterhouse Five in there.

    Later, as an aspiring writer paying bills with retail/banking/clerical/coffee-schlepping jobs, I experienced sustained (2 or 3 seconds, at least) eye contact with him at the little out-of-the-way pub my friends and I frequented. He noticed me taking a third look at his face and trying to place him. I thought he must have had some connection to the English department (!). But for the life of me, I couldn’t figure it out. He politely held my gaze for a moment, nodded, and then returned to his conversation.

    He smiled at me later when he got up to leave the bar. I had looked up to be polite since I’d been caught staring. As the door shut behind him and a bit of buzz picked up in the pub, it hit me:

    “THAT was Kurt Vonnegut, and I am an idiot!”

    RIP, sir.

  • 6. Michelle Goodman  |  April 16th, 2007 at 11:48 am

    xina, how cool that he gave your commencement speech. and wow, lisa. GREAT story!

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Who I am

Hi, my name's Michelle Goodman and I've been freelancing since 1992. I'm author of My So-Called Freelance Life and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. Read my full bio here.

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