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Here for the first time is the complete short fiction of one of the twentieth century's foremost imaginative geniuses. More than half of Vonnegut's output was short fiction, and never before has the world had occasion to wrestle with it all together. Organized thematically—"War," "Women," "Science," "Romance," "Work Ethic versus Fame and Fortune," "Behavior," "The Band Director" (those stories featuring Lincoln High's band director and nice guy George Hemholtz), and "Futuristic"—these ninety-eight stories were written from 1941 to 2007, and include those Vonnegut published in magazines and collected in Welcome to the Monkey House, Bagombo Snuff Box, and other books; here for the first time five previously unpublished stories; as well as a handful of others that were published online and read by few. During his lifetime Vonnegut published fewer than half of the stories he wrote, his agent telling him in 1958 upon the rejection of a particularly strong story, "Save it for the collection of your works which will be published someday when you become famous. Which may take a little time."
Selected and introduced by longtime Vonnegut friends and scholars Dan Wakefield and Jerome Klinkowitz, Complete Stories puts Vonnegut's great wit, humor, humanity, and artistry on full display. An extraordinary literary feast for new readers, Vonnegut fans, and scholars alike.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609808082
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication date: 09/26/2017
Pages: 944
Sales rank: 160,900
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 2.50(d)

About the Author

Born in 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana, KURT VONNEGUT was one of the few grandmasters of modern American letters. Called by the New York Times "the counterculture's novelist," his works guided a generation through the miasma of war and greed that was life in the US in the second half of the twentieth century. Vonnegut rose to prominence with the publication of Cat's Cradle in 1963. Several modern classics, including Slaughterhouse-Five, soon followed. And he wrote and published dozens of short stories. "Given who and what I am," he once said, "it has been presumptuous of me to write so well." Kurt Vonnegut died in New York in 2007.

A longtime friend of Kurt Vonnegut's, DAN WAKEFIELD edited and introduced Kurt Vonnegut: Letters, and is the author of the memoirs New York in the Fifties and Returning: A Spiritual Journey, and the novel, Going All the Way, which was made into a movie starring Ben Affleck. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

JEROME KLINKOWITZ, a scholar of mid-century American literature in general and Kurt Vonnegut in particular, is a professor of English at the University of Northern Iowa. He is co-editor of The Vonnegut Statement and author of several books including The American 1960s. He lives in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

DAVE EGGERS is the founder of McSweeney's and is the author of many books, including Heroes of the Frontier, The Circle, A Hologram for the King, and What Is the What.

Date of Birth:

November 11, 1922

Date of Death:

April 11, 2007

Place of Birth:

Indianapolis, Indiana

Place of Death:

New York, New York


Cornell University, 1940-42; Carnegie-Mellon University, 1943; University of Chicago, 1945-47; M.A., 1971

Table of Contents

Foreword Dave Eggers xi

Introduction Jerome Klinkowitz Dan Wakefield xv

Short Stories of the American 1950s, Inc., Kurt Vonnegut, Proprietor Jerome Klinkowitz xix

How Vonnegut Learned to Write Short Stories Dan Wakefield xxv

Section I War (Headnote by Jerome Klinkowitz) 1

"All the King's Horses" (WMH. From Collier's, February 10, 1951) 7

"D.P." (WMH. From Ladies' Home Journal, August 1953) 21

"The Manned Missiles" (WMH. From Cosmopolitan, July 1958) 29

"Thanasphere" (BSB. From Collier's, September 2, 1950) 38

"Souvenir" (BSB. From Argosy, December 1952) 49

"The Cruise of The Jolly Roger" (BSB. From Cape Cod Compass, April 1953) 56

"Der Arme Dolmetscher" (BSB. From Atlantic Monthly, July 1955) 63

"Bagombo Snuff Box" (BSB. From Cosmopolitan, October 1954) 67

"Great Day" (AR) 76

"Guns Before Butter" (AR) 87

"Happy Birthday, 1951" (AR) 96

"Brighten Up" (AR) 101

"The Unicorn Trap" (AR) 106

"Spoils" (AR) 115

"Just You and Me, Sammy" (AR) 119

"The Commandant's Desk" (AR) 131

"Armageddon in Retrospect" (AR) 143

"The Petrified Ants" (LB) 155

"Atrocity Story" (L) 166

Section 2 Women (Headnote by Dan Wakefield) 169

"Miss Temptation" (WMH. From Saturday Evening Post, April 21, 1956) 173

"Little Drops of Water" (LB) 183

"Jenny" (WMS) 193

"The Epizootic" (WMS) 206

"Hundred-Dollar Kisses" (WMS) 210

"Ruth" (WMS) 217

"Out, Brief Candle" (WMS) 226

"Mr. Z" (WMS) 234

"With His Hand on the Throttle" (WMS) 244

"Eden by the River" (SP) 255

"Lovers Anonymous" (BSR. From Redbook, October 1963) 261

Section 3 Science (Headnote by Jerome Klinkowitz) 271

"Next Door" (WMH. From Cosmopolitan, April 1955) 275

"Report On the Barnhouse Effect" (WMH. From Collier's, February 11, 1950) 282

"The Euphio Question" (WMH. From Collier's, May 12, 1951) 293

"Unready to Wear" (WMH. From Galaxy Science Fiction, April 1953) 305

"EPICAC" (WMH. From Collier's, November 25, 1950) 316

"Mnemonics" (BSB. From Collier's, April 28, 1951) 322

"Confido" (LB) 325

"Hall of Mirrors" (LB) 333

"The Nice Little People" (LB) 343

"Look at the Birdie" (LB) 349

"Between Timid and Timbuktu" (SP) 353

Section 4 Romance (Headnote by Dan Wakefield) 367

"Who Am I This Time?" (WMH. From Saturday Evening Post, December 16, 1961 [as "My Name Is Everyone"]) 373

"Long Walk to Forever" (WMH. From Ladies Home Journal, August 1960) 383

"A Night for Love" (BSB. From Saturday Evening Post, November 25, 1957) 389

"Find Me a Dream" (BSB. From Cosmopolitan, February 1961) 399

"FUBAR" (LB) 406

"Girl Pool" (WMS) 415

"Rome" (SP) 426

"Miss Snow, You're Fired" (SP) 438

"Paris, France" (SP) 446

"City" (L) 456

Section 5 Work Ethic Versus Fame and Fortune (Headnote by Dan Wakefield) 459

"More Stately Mansions" (WMH. From Collier's, December 22, 1951) 463

"The Hyannis Port Story (WMH. Sold to Saturday Evening Post but not published because of President Kennedy's assassination) 472

"Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son" (WMH. From Ladies' Home Journal, July 1962) 481

"The Lie" (WMH. From Saturday Evening Post, February 24, 1962) 492

"Deer in the Works" (WMH. From Esquire, April 1955) 502

"Any Reasonable Offer" (BSB. From Collier's, January 19, 1952) 512

"The Package" (BSB. From Collier's, July 26, 1952) 520

"Poor Little Rich Town" (BSB. From Collier's, October 25, 1952) 532

"A Present for Big Saint Nick" (BSB. From Argosy, December 1954) 542

"This Son of Mine" (BSB. From Saturday Evening Post, August 18, 1956) 550

"Hal Irwin's Magic Lamp" (BSB. From Cosmopolitan, June 1957) 561

"Shout About It from the Housetops" (LB) 566

"Ed Luby's Key Club" (LB) 574

"King and Queen of the Universe" (LB) 605

"$10,000 a Year, Easy" (WMS) 616

"Money Talks" (WMS) 626

"While Mortals Sleep" (WMS) 636

"Tango" (WMS) 649

"The Humbugs" (WMS) 658

Section 6 Behavior (Headnote by Jerome Klinkowitz) 669

"The Foster Portfolio" (WMH. From Collier's, September 8, 1951) 673

"Custom-Made Bride" (BSB. From Saturday Evening Post, March 27, 1954) 684

"Unpaid Consultant" (BSB. From Cosmopolitan, Much 1955) 694

"Sucker's Portfolio" (SP) 703

"The Drone King" (L) 714

"Hello, Red" (LB) 724

"The Honor of a Newsboy" (IB) 733

"Tom Edison's Shaggy Dog" (WMH. From Collier's, March 14, 1953) 739

"The Man Without No Kiddleys" (WMS) 744

"The Powder-Blue Dragon" (BSB. From Cosmopolitan, November 1954) 749

"Runaways" (BSB. From Saturday Evening Post, April 15, 1961) 758

"The Good Explainer" (LB) 769

"Guardian of the Person" (WMS) 776

"Bomar" (WMS) 783

"Requiem for Zeitgeist" (L) 791

"And on Your Left" (L) 794

Section 7 The Band Director (Headnote by Dan Wakefield) 803

"The Kid Nobody Could Handle" (WMH. From Saturday Evening Post, September 24, 1955) 807

"The No-Talent Kid" (BSB. From Saturday Evening Post, October 25, 1952) 816

"Ambitious Sophomore" (BSB. From Saturday Evening Post, May 1, 1954) 825

"The Boy Who Hated Girls" (BSB. From Saturday Evening Post, March 31, 1956) 834

"A Song for Selma" (LB) 843

Section 8 Futuristic (Headnote by Jerome Klinkowitz) 853

"Harrison Bergeron" (WMH. From Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1961) 857

"Welcome to the Monkey House" (WMH. From Playboy January 1968) 863

"Adam" (WMH. From Cosmopolitan, April 1954) 878

"Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" (WMH. From Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1954 [as "The Big Trip Up Yonder"]) 884

"The Big Space Fuck" (PS. From Again, Dangerous Visions, ed. Harlan Ellison. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1972) 895

"2BR02B" (BSB. From Worlds of If, January 1962) 900

"Unknown Soldier" (AR) 906

Source Acknowledgments 909

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