The Extraordinary Influence of Jane Vonnegut On Kurt Vonnegut (

“Rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief; Doctor, Lawyer, Merchant, Chief.”

So wrote Kurt Vonnegut to his new wife, Jane (née Cox), in the autumn of 1945. Twenty-two years old, awaiting discharge from the Army, and riddled with doubt about his future career, Vonnegut wrote to Jane often, as Ginger Strand writes in the New Yorker.

The “first eleven letters are at Indiana University’s Lilly Library,” but the Vonnegut family has many, many more within their possession. It is a collection started by Jane herself – but only of Kurt’s letters, not hers. This, however, does not necessarily relegate her to the shared dark history many women endured in the past. For Mrs Vonnegut had an agenda; she knew precisely which career was “written” in the stars for her husband: that of a writer […]

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