Greg Sumner speaking at ALA

June 20, 2012

Comments from Greg Sumner, author of  Unstuck in Time: A Journey Through Kurt Vonnegut’s Life and Novels,  speaking at this past American Literature Association panel:

“Anyone audacious (or foolish) enough to take on the task needs to have a clear sense of the shape of the story they want to tell, and aspire to balance in resolving the innumerable decisions that present themselves about what to include, what is most revealing in the enormous mass of information available. It should not be an exercise in hagiography and blind hero worship, nor should it be indulgence in character assassination and “pathography.” One of Vonnegut’scardinal rules about writing, more true today than ever, is that the reader’s precious time must not be wasted, everything on the page has to advance the story. As one closes the book there should be a deepened awareness of why we are interested in the subject, and why, perhaps, they deserve yet more of our attention.”

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