Sam Schaeffer Harrisonburg, VA
My name is Sam Schaeffer and I discovered your work fairly recently. I read Harrison Bergeron in high school, and then worked my way through several of your novels this semester in a major writer’s course at SUNY Fredonia. As my sophomore year of college draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on how you would’ve reacted to the past year. COVID has been a less-than-ideal backdrop to my college experience so far, and at many times it has been hard to “fart around”. Your books have been a huge bright spot in my life, reminding me of life’s absurdness. Always the anthropologist, you present the human condition as an ever-evolving entity. You manage to highlight the inherent goodness in human beings, as well as the ugly nature of a lot of the world, simultaneously, with a healthy dollop of satire on the side. While I can imagine that you’d be less than pleased about your books being studied and discussed through a technological modality, I want to reassure you that I have still gotten the message. This semester, you have challenged and pushed me to see people, situations, and the world through a different, more informed lens. I find myself constantly wondering “what would Kurt do here?” I especially enjoyed your novel Cats’s Cradle. Your political views were comfort to me as we elected a new administration in January.
My parents have the Mr. Rosewater quote hanging in their room. I grew up around it and know that quote by heart. Never did I imagine that the man that wrote it would have such a profound impact on my life down the road. Thank you, Kurt.