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'Sucker's Portfolio' and Kurt Vonnegut's literary afterlife
In 1999, two years after the release of his final novel, “Timequake,” Kurt Vonnegut put out a small book called “God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian,” in which he imagined himself as the afterlife reporter for a New York radio station, using Jack Kevorkian’s suicide machine to produce near-death experiences that would take him to a no man’s land just outside the gates of heaven, where he would interview luminaries who had slipped the mortal coil. Eugene V. Debs, William Shakespeare, James Earl Ray, Karla Faye Tucker -- the mix was vintage Vonnegut, made up in equal parts of saints and sinners, all bound by their (very human) mortality.
By David L. Ulin
November 27, 2012