Sunday, May 06, 2007

Local man shares his memories of being arrested for assigning Slaughterhouse-Five to his 9th grade class in South Carolina back in 1973 and the subsequent phone call and letters from Kurt Vonnegut with book editor Jeri Krentz. He is singled out by Vonnegut during the Novello Festival of Reading in 1994:

Black recalls sitting under the balcony. On the Spirit Square stage, Vonnegut, 71, was tall and lanky, his hair a mop of curls. He spoke in a gravelly smoker's voice.

The first thing he said?

"The very first thing he says is, is Gary Black here? It was difficult for him to see me at first, so I said, Here I am, Kurt. And he said, This man was arrested in your schools for teaching one of my books. Shame on you."

People laughed, Black remembers. When they quieted, Vonnegut spoke again.

How are you doing, Gary? he asked.

Fine, Kurt, Black recalls saying.


  1. Some things never change, do they? Sadly, we have a local parent here who is causing a stink about one of Steinbeck's books that uses the infamous "n-word." He finds it degrading that his children have to be exposed to such an atrocity and last week he managed to get himself about five minutes of television time out of it. It's all enough to make me want to pull my hair out sometimes. :-)

  2. Sigh, the more things change...


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