The Writer's CrusadeAbrams Books
The story of Kurt Vonnegut and his beloved masterpiece, Slaughterhouse-Five, a novel born in the destruction of Dresden in World War II and written during the tumultuous days of Vietnam During the Vietnam War, Kurt Vonnegut, after surviving the horrors of Dresden as a POW during World War II, would lose his temper while watching the nightly news, point at the screen and shout, “The liars!” According to his family and friends, Slaughterhouse-Five was Vonnegut’s attempt to exorcize his demons. “He was writing to save his own life,” his daughter Nanette has said, “and in doing it I think he has saved a lot of lives.” Tom Roston’s The Writer’s Crusade is a book about how books save lives. Two decades after World War II had ended, Vonnegut’s sixth book became a significant part of a vital storytelling tradition that has eased the trauma of war for both the writer and the reader. Although Slaughterhouse-Five was championed by the anti-war movement, it became a bulwark for veterans who found in its pages a voice that spoke to them with an intimate, shared understanding of wartime PTSD. Mixing together the story of Vonnegut’s life, the writing and publishing of his most enduring work, and forays into the experiences of soldiers and writers today—people who have made the novel a touchstone in their lives—The Writer’s Crusade is built on research into Vonnegut’s life, from papers and interviews with his children, scholars, psychologists, and writers, including Tim O’Brien, Kevin Powers, and Karl Marlantes. This will be a captivating book for fans of Vonnegut and anyone touched by war and its aftermath.