Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Writing, I Learned from Vonnegut’s Asshole

When I was thirteen, my family moved to the south suburbs of Chicago. It was a grim place, the kind of town where culture and happiness go to die.

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Authors & Their Assholes: Sandra Tsing Loh

Sandra Tsing Loh is a frequent contributor to The Atlantic, a regular commentator on NPR’s This American Life, and the author of many books, including the semi-autobiographical A Year in Van Nuys.

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Authors & Their Assholes: Charlie Anders

The third asshole in this collection was created by Charlie Anders, the author of “Choir Boy” (Soft Skull Press 2005), the publisher of Other Magazine, and a frequent contributor to such literary rags as ZYZZYVA, Pindeldyboz, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

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Authors & Their Assholes: Brad Listi

Brad Listi is the bestselling author of Attention. Deficit. Disorder. (Simon & Schuster, 2006) and the founder of The Nervous Breakdown, a daily webzine featuring nonfiction essays and stories contributed from a regular cartel of authors.

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Authors & Their Assholes: Daphne Gottlieb

Daphne Gottlieb is a San Francisco performance poet and the only legitimate evidence that cloning may be a good idea.

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Authors & Their Assholes: Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane is the author of two critically-acclaimed collections of short stories, When the Messenger Is Hot and All This Heavenly Glory, both published by Little Brown. She’s also a regular contributor to Writer’s Block Party on WBEZ Chicago, and a columnist for Punk Planet magazine. Her third collection of stories, You Must Be This Happy to Enter, will be released by Punk Planet Books in Fall 2007.

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Authors & Their Assholes: Sean Williams

Sean Williams is a science-fiction author – a New York Times best-selling science-fiction author, no less – who makes even non-genre writers look like hack amateurs.

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Authors & Their Assholes: Amy Guth

I’ve known Amy Guth for a long time. When I lived in Chicago, we used to hang out in bars and drink Hamm’s and talk about writing and books. We even had a sidekick, a plush pig doll we named Equinox, the Patron Saint of Sloppy Prose. His catch phrase – and this is such an inside joke that it can’t possibly be explained here – was “riff-riff-riff.”

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Authors & Their Assholes: Kimberlee Auerbach

Some writers tend to be shy curmudgeons, but not Kimberlee Auerbach. She actually enjoys sharing her stories in front of a live audience. She’s competed in several Moth GrandSLAM Championships, and performed her one-woman show, Tarot Reading: Love, Sex and Mommy, at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival.

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Authors & Their Assholes: Jen Burke

Jen Burke regularly writes about sex and gender on her website and just about everything else on her blog. Her first book, A Life Less Convenient: Letters to My Ex (Merge Press, 2006), is a brilliant account of chronic illness and ex-lovers. I can’t begin to do it justice, so I won’t even try.

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