Rare interview with Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter, Nanette

From The Rumpus:

Kurt Vonnegut’s daughter, Nanette, doesn’t have a massive Internet presence. She’s not a regular on the literary scene and she doesn’t have a blog. A writer, painter, and self-identified little sister, she raised three kids and thinks of herself as normal. She’s intentionally looked away from the literary aura of Kurt Vonnegut, preferring, instead, to view one of our country’s greatest writers as “Dad.” That makes her introduction to her father’s book, We Are What We Pretend To Be: The First and Last Works, moving and enlightening. The book spans the beginning and end of Kurt Vonnegut’s fifty-year career. Basic Training is Vonnegut’s earliest unpublished novella, and If God Were Alive Today is the unfinished novel Vonnegut began before he died. Nanette, who was with her father when he wrote the latter, provides context for the books and the man who wrote them.

The Rumpus: In a guest piece for The Huffington Post, you say living with your dad was like living with an elephant that was trying to give birth to something twice its size. I can’t get that image out of my head. It’s kind of painful and exciting.

Nanette Vonnegut: Definitely a labor. It was a sensation of living with a lot tension. I was the youngest and I cried all the time. I tried to turn everything into a fairy tale. I’m the most sensitive in the family and I absorbed a lot of what was going on in the house. My father was definitely a man dealing with trauma. This is a man who was carrying the weight of something…not even his wife understood.

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