Like Shaking Hands with God: A Conversation about Writing

Like Shaking Hands with God: A Conversation about Writing

by Kurt Vonnegut, Lee Stringer

NOOK Book(eBook)

View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now


Like Shaking Hands with God details a collaborative journey on the art of writing undertaken by two distinguished writers separated by age, race, upbringing, and education, but sharing common goals and aspirations. Rarely have two writers spoken so candidly about the intersection where the lives they live meet the art they practice. That these two writers happen to be Kurt Vonnegut and Lee Stringer makes this a historic and joyous occasion.
The setting was a bookstore in New York City, the date Thursday, October 1, 1998. Before a crowd of several hundred, Vonnegut and Stringer took up the challenge of writing books that would make a difference and the concomitant challenge of living from day to day. As Vonnegut said afterward, ""It was a magical evening.""
A book for anyone interested in why the simple act of writing things down can be more important than the amount of memory in our computers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609801458
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 965,572
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

KURT VONNEGUT was among the few grandmasters of twentieth-century American letters, one without whom the very term American literature would mean much less than it does now. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 11, 1922, and died on April 11, 2007, in New York City. 

LEE STRINGER's journey from childhood homelessness in the ’60s, to adult homelessness in the ’80s, to his present career as a writer and lecturer, as told in Sleepaway School and Grand Central Winter, is one of the great odysseys of contemporary American life and letters. Stringer, the only board member of Project Renewal who is also a former patient of the facility, has demonstrated that writers are made, not born. He is the two-time recipient of the Washington Irving Award and, in 2005, a Lannan Foundation Residency. He is a former editor and columnist of Street News. His essays and articles have appeared in a variety of other publications, including The NationThe New York Times, and Newsday. He lives in Mamaroneck, New York, where he also serves on the board of the Mamaroneck Public Libraries.

Date of Birth:

November 11, 1922

Date of Death:

April 11, 2007

Place of Birth:

Indianapolis, Indiana

Place of Death:

New York, New York


Cornell University, 1940-42; Carnegie-Mellon University, 1943; University of Chicago, 1945-47; M.A., 1971

Table of Contents



The First Conversation

The Second Conversation


What People are Saying About This

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

"The primary benefit of practicing any that it enables one's soul to grow. So the proliferation of creative writing courses is surely a good thing. Most came into being in response to demands by college students...that their courses make more use of their natural impulses to be creative in ways that were not emphatically practical."
— "Writers on Writing," The New York Times, May 24, 1999

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Like Shaking Hands with God: A Conversation about Writing 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
bacis88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent commentary on the craft of writing and the experience of writing as a whole from two great writers. Their insights delve deep into the realities that writers face and what it means to be one.
nickdreamsong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This collection of two moderated conversations between Lee Stringer and Kurt Vonnegut is a rare and entertaining hour's read. The two authors discuss writing style, inspiration and subject matter. The longer conversation is peppered with passages from Vonnegut's Timequake and Stringer's Grand Central Winter. If you are fan of either author or just an avid reader, I would recommend this collection.
evergreensunrise More than 1 year ago
If you undrstand that there is no clear cut answer to writing a good story, then you will find this book helpful. The help is in their difficulty to describe the writing process. It's what you read between the lines of their conversation, not so much what they actually say. Writing comes from you and no one is perfect, so don't expect your first draft to be. Just write!
discourseincsharpminor More than 1 year ago
I enjoy hearing professionals discussing what they do because, while a few will be obnoxious and pretentious about it, many will be really insightful. This was an interesting book about the process of creating a novel. I only wish it were longer so they could expand on some of their thoughts.