Kurt Vonnegut, at age twenty-two, didn’t know what to do with himself. It was autumn, 1945. He was back from Europe, having survived the firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war, and he had convinced the love of his life, Jane Cox, to marry him. Beyond that, he had no positive ideas, only negatives. He wasn’t going to be a scientist—his bad grades at Cornell made that clear. He didn’t much like working in an office. At one point he had considered law school, but not for long. And he knew for sure he wasn’t going to be a writer. He wasn’t good enough.