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While Mortals Sleep: Unpublished Short Fictionby Kurt Vonnegut
Synopses & Reviews
Foreword by Dave Eggers
Smart, whimsical, and often scathing, the fiction of Kurt Vonnegut influenced a generation of American writers--including Dave Eggers, author of thisvolume's Foreword. In these previously unpublished gems, Vonnegut's originality infuses a unique landscape of factories, trailers, and bars--and characters who pit their dreams and fearsagainst a cruel and sometimes comically indifferent world.
Here are stories of men and machines, art and artifice, and how ideals of fortune, fame, and love take curious twists in ordinary lives. Anambitious builder of roads, commanding an army of bulldozers, graders, and asphalt spreaders, fritters away his free time with miniature trains--until the women in his life crash his fantasy land. Trapped in astenography pool, a young dreamer receives a call from a robber on the run, who presents her with a strange proposition. A crusty newspaperman is forced onto a committee to judge Christmas displays--a job thatleads him to a suspiciously ostentatious ex-con and then a miracle. A hog farmer's widow receives cryptic, unsolicited letters from a man in Schenectady about the indefinable sweet aches of thespirit. But what will she find when she goes to meet him in the flesh?
These beautifully rendered works are a testament to Vonnegut's unique blend of observation and imagination.Like a present left behind by a departed loved one, While Mortals Sleep bestows upon us a shimmering Kurt Vonnegut gift: a poignant reflection of our world as it is and as it couldbe.
From the Hardcover edition.
Featuring more than a dozen pieces of artwork done by Vonnegut himself, this collection contains 16 never-before-published pieces of short fiction--long-buried, brilliant short stories dating from early in the author's career.
About the Author
\Kurt Vonnegut’s black humor, satiric voice, and incomparable imagination first captured America’s attention in The Sirens of Titan in 1959 and established him as “a true artist” (The New York Times) with Cat’s Cradle in 1963. He was, as Graham Greene declared, “one of the best living American writers.” Mr. Vonnegut passed away in April 2007.
Dave Eggers is the author of six previous books, including Zeitoun, What Is the What, and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He is the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Dave Eggers — Jenny — The epizootic — Hundred-dollar kisses — Guardian of the person — With his hand on the throttle — Girl pool — Ruth — While mortals sleep — Out, brief candle — Tango — Bomar — The man without no kiddleys — Mr. Z — A year, easy — Money talks — The humbugs.
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