The definitive edition of Kurt Vonnegut’s fiction concludes with three brilliantly satirical novels of the 1980s and ’90s collected in one volume for the first time. Here are the final three novels of the visionary master who defined a generation. Bluebeard (1987) is the colorful history of a phenomenally gifted realist painter who, in the 1950s, betrayed his artistic vision for commercial success. now, at seventy-one, he writes his memoirs and plots his revenge on the worldly forces that conspired to corrupt his talent. In Hocus Pocus (1990), a freewheeling prison memoir by a Vietnam vet and disgraced academic, Vonnegut brings his indelible voice to a range of still-burning issues—free speech, racism, environmental calamity, deindustrialization, and globalization. Timequake (1997), the author’s last completed novel, is part science fiction yarn (starring perennial protagonist Kilgore trout), part diary of the mid-1990s (starring the author himself). the result is a perfect fusion of Vonnegut’s two signature genres, the satirical fantasy and the personal essay, and a literary magician’s fond farewell to his readers and his craft. Rounded out with a selection of short nonfiction pieces intimately related to these three works, this volume presents the final word from the artist who the San Francisco Chronicle, reviewing Timequake, called an “old warrior who will not accept the dehumanizing of politics, the blunting of conscience, and the glibness of the late-twentieth-century Western world.”
About the Author
Sidney Offit, editor of The Library of America's four-volume Kurt Vonnegut edition, has written novels, books for young readers, and memoirs including, most recently, Friends, Writers, and Other Countrymen. He was senior editor of Intellectual Digest, book editor of Politics Today, and contributing editor of Baseball Magazine. He wrote the foreword to Look at the Birdie, a collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s unpublished short fiction.
Date of Birth:November 11, 1922
Date of Death:April 11, 2007
Place of Birth:Indianapolis, Indiana
Place of Death:New York, New York
Education:Cornell University, 1940-42; Carnegie-Mellon University, 1943; University of Chicago, 1945-47; M.A., 1971