Dan writes about his friend, Kurt Vonnegut


Dan Wakefield had a long friendship with Kurt Vonnegut. They were both from Indianapolis and both were writers. Kurt was a prolific letter writer and Dan was asked by the Vonnegut family to help prepare an anthology of 60 years of that correspondence . Dan spent over a year editing and annotating the work, which appears in a book that was released by Delacorte in November 2012.


If This Isn't Nice, What Is?
Advice to the Young

Vonnegut, Kurt (Author) and Wakefield, Dan (Introduction)
2013, 2014. 144 p. First Seven Stories Press, hardcover, $21.95. (978-1-6098059-1-3).
The Graduation Speeches, selected and introduced by Dan Wakefield.

"Like [that of] literary ancestor Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut's crankiness is good-humored and sharp-witted.”    — A. O. Scott, The New York Times Book Review

"The material here offers us a slightly different lens, a different window, extending across a wide range of time and geography, from Fredonia College in Fredonia New York in 1978 to Eastern Washington University in Spokane in 2004, and framed by not just Vonnegutís sense of humor but also of humanity, his faith in our essential decency.”    —David Ulin, The Los Angeles Times

"These delightful scattershot commencement speeches offer fresh clues to what lay behind Kurt Vonnegut's twinkly visage—clues that are well worth celebrating.”    —Peter Matthiessen