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And So it Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life by Charles J. Shields Review

Title: And So it Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

Author: Charles J. Shields

First published November 8, 2011

513 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780805086935 (ISBN10: 0805086935)

Rating: 3.95

Overview

And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life by Charles J. Shields is an illuminating biography of one of the most influential authors in American literature.

Shields’ passion for his subject shines through as he delves deep into the life of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. In his pursuit of the truth, Shields reached out to Vonnegut for his endorsement, but was initially turned down. Unwilling to give up, Shields continued his research and eventually gained access to Vonnegut and his letters.

Through this access, Shields provides readers with an authoritative account of Vonnegut’s life and work, offering new insights into the man who changed the conversation of American literature. A must-read for any Vonnegut fan or lover of literature.

About the Author

Meet Charles J. Shields, the celebrated author behind several bestselling biographies.

You may recognize his work from the highly acclaimed “Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee” or “I Am Scout: The Biography of Harper Lee,” both published by Henry Holt & Co. He’s also the author of “And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life” and “The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel: John Williams, Stoner, and the Writing Life,” which was published by the University of Texas Press.

Looking ahead to January 2022, Shields has a new book in the works, set to be released by Henry Holt. This upcoming biography promises to provide the most comprehensive look yet into the life of a woman hailed by James Baldwin for her “overpowering vision.”

Editoral Review

“And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life” by Charles J. Shields provides an intimate and insightful look into the life of one of America’s most beloved writers.

Shield’s biography takes readers on a journey through Vonnegut’s personal and professional life from his youth in Indiana to his rise to literary greatness and beyond. As a biographer, Shields deeply immerses himself in Vonnegut’s world and captures the complexities of his personality.

Shield’s style is engaging and well-paced, making this sizeable biography easy to read and thoroughly engrossing. The book details Vonnegut’s early life and experiences in World War II, which are seen as a catalyst for his unique worldview and writing style.

Throughout the biography, Shield’s approach to writing is insightful, empathetic, and well-researched. The work also highlights Vonnegut’s relationships with his family, friends, and fellow writers.

Shield’s inclusion of several personal anecdotes and quotes from those who knew Vonnegut provides a candid and refreshingly honest portrayal of the writer. However, despite its many strengths, “And So It Goes” can at times feel overly exhaustive or repetitious.

Shield’s approach to providing historical context may not be to everyone’s preference, as it can be lengthy and arduous at times. Despite these minor flaws, “And So It Goes” is a must-read for anyone who considers themselves a Vonnegut fan or simply enjoys learning about the lives and influences behind some of the world’s greatest writers.

Shield’s biography is richly detailed and surprisingly uplifting, providing a deeper appreciation for the life of an American icon. Overall, “And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life” by Charles J.

Shields is an illuminating and engrossing biography that delves into the life of one of America’s greatest writers. It is highly recommended for anyone who wishes to understand the life and work of this literary giant.

4 out of 5 stars.

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