Suzanne McConnell: Pity the Reader

Tuesday November 5: 7:30PM 8:30PM

Event Admission          Signed Copy, No Admission

Doors open 30 minutes before the start of the event.

The art and craft of writing by one of the few grandmasters of American literature, a bonanza for writers and readers written by Kurt Vonnegut’s former student.

Here is an entirely new side of Kurt Vonnegut, Vonnegut as a teacher of writing. Of course he’s given us glimpses before, with aphorisms and short essays and articles and in his speeches. But never before has an entire book been devoted to Kurt Vonnegut the teacher. Here is pretty much everything Vonnegut ever said or wrote having to do with the writing art and craft, altogether a healing, a nourishing expedition. McConnell has outfitted us for the journey, and in these 37 chapters covers the waterfront of how one American writer brought himself to the pinnacle of the writing art, and we can all benefit as a result.

Kurt Vonnegut was one of the few grandmasters of American literature, whose novels continue to influence new generations about the ways in which our imaginations can help us to live. Few aspects of his contribution have not been plumbed–fourteen novels, collections of his speeches, his essays, his letters, his plays–so this fresh view of him, written by a former student, is a bonanza for writers and readers and Vonnegut fans everywhere.

Join us on the 2nd floor as Suzanne McConnell discusses her book on the teachings of Kurt Vonnegut.

Author, editor and writing teacher Suzanne McConnell was a student of Kurt Vonnegut’s at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop during its heyday, the period from 1965-67, when Vonnegut—along with Nelson Algren and other notable authors— was in residence, and was finishing his masterpiece, Slaughterhouse Five. Vonnegut and McConnell became friends, and stayed so for many years. She has published short memoirs of him in The Brooklyn Rail and The Writer’s Digest, and led a panel at the 2014 AWP conference on Vonnegut’s legacy, titled “Vonnegut’s Legacy: Writing about War and Other Debacles of the Human Condition.” McConnell has taught writing at Hunter College for thirty years, and serves as the Fiction Editor of the Bellevue Literary Review. She lives in New York City and Wellfleet, MA, with her husband, the artist Gary Kuehn.