During a visit with his artist daughter Nanette, Kurt Vonnegut unrolled a drawing on her coffee table. "Burn it, dad, it's no good!" she told him. He smiled, agreed, and tossed it in the trash. But shortly after he returned home, Vonnegut mailed Nanette two large packets of his sketches. These packets remained untouched for over a decade, until Vonnegut's death in 2007. Now, in Kurt Vonnegut Drawings (Monacelli Press), Vonnegut's whimsical and idiosyncratic portraits are collected and published together for the first time.
Though a consummate doodler and lifelong art devotee, Vonnegut's work as a visual artist has until now always been presented as a footnote to his novel-writing. A number of his novels (including Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions) feature tiny, illustrative sketches, but they were always secondary. Gathered here, they appear both careful and casual, sad and amusing—evidence that his work transcendended literary narrative.