The Last Interview: And Other Conversations
Melville House Publishing, Paperback, 9781612190907, 176pp.
Publication Date: December 16, 2011
During his long career Kurt Vonnegut won international praise for his novels, plays, and essays. In this new anthology of conversations with Vonnegut which collects interviews from throughout his career we learn much about what drove Vonnegut to write and how he viewed his work at the end.
From Kurt Vonnegut's last interview
Is there another book in you, by chance?
No. Look, I m 84 years old. Writers of fiction have usually done their best work by the time they re 45. Chess masters are through when they re 35, and so are baseball players. There are plenty of other people writing. Let them do it.
So what's the old man's game, then?
My country is in ruins. So I m a fish in a poisoned fishbowl. I m mostly just heartsick about this. There should have been hope. This should have been a great country. But we are despised all over the world now. I was hoping to build a country and add to its literature. That's why I served in World War II, and that's why I wrote books.
When someone reads one of your books, what would you like them to take from the experience?
Well, I d like the guy or the girl, of course to put the book down and think, This is the greatest man who ever lived.
“Like Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, even when he’s funny, he’s depressed. . . . The way he goes about his business has helped most
of us to go on living, if only to find out what happens next.”
—John Leonard, The Nation
“He is a satirist with a heart, a moralist with a whoopee cushion, a cynic who wants to believe.”
“Vonnegut is our strongest writer . . . the most stubbornly imaginative.”