Pity the Reader

Five minutes of the best writing advice Kurt Vonnegut ever gave me (excerpt from Read650 Podcast at Carnegie Hall):

Pity The Reader: On Writing with Style by Suzanne McConnell and Kurt Vonnegut is available in hardcover and paperback published by Seven Stories Press, as an e-book published by RosettaBooks, and as an audio book narrated by Karen White published by Highbridge Audio.

“A student of Vonnegut’s at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop from 1965 to 1967, during a time when the teacher was finishing his masterpiece Slaughterhouse-Five, McConnell guides the reader through nearly everything the famous author ever said or wrote about the art and craft of writing. “Practicing an art form is a way to grow your soul,” Vonnegut said, and with rare photographs and reproductions as well as generous offerings of the novelist’s aphorisms, short essays, articles, and speeches, Pity the Reader proves the profound truth in that statement, offering insight and inspiration on every page.” – Poets & Writers Nov/Dec 2019

The paperback edition offers ‘practices,’ writing prompts that spring from the chapters on craft. See A Note To Teachers for tips on teaching and a sample practice exercise.

See interviews about Pity the Reader here.

National Council of Teachers of English Conference Presentation, sponsored by Seven Stories Press, October 20, 2020.

Chapters Online

Chapter 7: “Fear of Finding a Worthy Subject or A Dearth of Death,” Literary Hub.

Chapter 8: “The Last Word on the Prime Mover or Fear Not,” The Nation.

Chapter 16: “Talent,” Poets & Writers.

Chapter 30: “Black Humor,” The London Magazine.

Chapter 33: “Making a Living,” The Nation.