Kurt Vonnegut/Salman Rushdie/Nelson Algren

Vonnegut in The Guardian:

According to the diary of my wife Jill Krementz, the photographer, the young British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie came to our house in Sagaponack, Long Island, for lunch on May 9, 1981. His excellent novel Midnight’s Children had just been published in the United States, and he told us that the most intelligent review had been written by Nelson Algren, a man he would like to meet. I replied that we knew Algren, since Jill had photographed him several times and he and I had been teachers at the Writers’ Workshop of the University of Iowa back in 1965, when we were both dead broke and I was 43 and he was 56. I said, too, that Algren was one of the few writers I knew who was really funny in conversation. I offered as a sample what Algren said at the workshop after I introduced him to the Chilean novelist José Donoso: “I think it would be nice to come from a country that long and narrow.”

Rushdie was really in luck, I went on, because Algren lived only a few miles to the north, in Sag Harbor, where John Steinbeck had spent the last of his days, and he was giving a cocktail party that very afternoon. I would call him and tell him we were bringing Rushdie along, and Jill would take pictures of the two of them together, both writers about people who were very poor.

More here.