“Students wrote to their favorite authors asking them to visit. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one who responded, writing this beautiful & humorous letter.”

Via Rachel Nussbaum
on Jul 28, 2014
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What a badass.

I want every child to read this letter. It has such an important message: Create, create, create. Fail, fail, fail—and maybe succeed. Don’t do it for anyone but yourself. Become and learn what’s inside you, and you will make your soul grow.

A reader comment: “Years ago, in the mid-80s, when I was in high school, a friend and I were amusing ourselves by calling directory assistance and asking for phone numbers of famous people. It was surprising how many numbers we got, just for asking. But when we dialed most of them, we just got answering services or some secretary or something who shut us down pretty quick. But when we called Kurt Vonnegut… He answered! And actually talked to us for quite a while, about his books, becoming a writer, anything else we asked about. He was astoundingly nice and wise. I’ll never forget that. A real gentleman.”


 “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut



The Only Rule.


6 Wise Quotes on Failure.



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Photo: Imgur


About Rachel Nussbaum

Rachel Nussbaum is a yogini and craft beer enthusiast, living in Boulder, Colorado. She can be found hitting the slopes, hiking the Flatirons, running along the Boulder Creek Path, drinking an IPA (or stout depending on the season) or searching for the most delicious ethnic food in town. Rachel tries to “go with the flow” and be spontaneous but is a controlling introvert at heart. Connect with Rachel on Facebook and Instagram.


8 Responses to ““Students wrote to their favorite authors asking them to visit. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one who responded, writing this beautiful & humorous letter.””

  1. Tracy says:

    Hey Rachel I was wondering if you knew the exact date of this letter. I know it was seven years ago since he was 84 when he died, but by any chance do you know the month?

  2. Rachel Nussbaum says:

    Hi Tracy, I know the letter was written in 2006, but I'm not sure of the exact month. Sorry! Hope you enjoyed the letter 🙂 ~ Rachel

  3. wendi says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you for bringing Kurt's wisdom out in such a perfect way. He was (and continues to be, in so many ways) a true hero of literature, and it brings me joy to see this letter. I may just have to write a letter to one of my favorite authors today….

  4. nunh says:

    I love KV – hard to believe someone can grow so wise with simplistic (on the surface) actions.

  5. Padma Kadag says:

    Really very very wonderful! Thanks.

  6. Rachel Nussbaum says:

    I'm so glad you enjoyed Kurt's wisdom. You definitely should write a letter to one of your favorite authors! Keep me posted. ~ Rachel

  7. Mark Bader says:

    'Make Your Soul Grow' is a short film based on this Kurt Vonnegut letter to students. Filmed by Dogtooth Films with the help of the drama students at Hove Park School in Brighton UK. This is a beautifully crafted and inspiration film.

  8. Duncan says:

    Don't know why I read this this morning but, of course, it was perfect. I can always tell; I start to cry. Thank you Rachel. Thank you Kurt.