About eight or nine years ago, I bought every book that Kurt Vonnegut wrote and spent the summer reading them all in the order he wrote them. I was embarking on a career as a “former advertising copywriter” and thought that reading the work of a “former public relations hack for GE” might be a good start.
His stuff was funny, serious, bitter, satirical and empathetic, all at the same time. He’s been an incredible influence on the stuff I write, and I’m more bummed than I thought I’d be at the news that he’s died.
I don’t know if I’m mourning him or mourning that amazing summer spent mostly in my beat-up thrift store chair in my tiny yellow studio at the Austin Artplex, but I’m definitely raising a glass in his honor tonight.