Mark Vonnegut

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Mark Vonnegut
Occupation Pediatrician, memoirist
Nationality American
Alma mater Swarthmore College, (1969)
Harvard Medical School
Genres Memoir
Notable work(s) The Eden Express
Relative(s) Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Edith Vonnegut

Mark Vonnegut (born May 11, 1947) is an American pediatrician and memoirist. He is the son of writer Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and his first wife, Jane Cox. He is also the brother of Edith Vonnegut and Nanette Vonnegut. He described himself in the preface to his 1975 book as "a hippie, son of a counterculture hero, BA in religion, (with a) genetic disposition to schizophrenia."[1][page needed]

Mark Vonnegut (whom his parents named after Mark Twain[2]) graduated from Swarthmore College in 1969. He briefly worked at Duthie Books and was also briefly chief of a 20-man detachment of special state police that provided the security for Boston State Hospital. During the Vietnam War, he filed an application with the draft board to be considered a conscientious objector, which was denied. After taking the psychological examination, he was given a psychiatric 4F classification and avoided conscription into the U.S. military.[1][page needed]

During his undergraduate years, he set out to become a Unitarian minister. He eventually abandoned that goal.[3]:33

He is the author of The Eden Express (1975), which describes his trip to British Columbia to set up a commune with his friends and his personal experiences with schizophrenia, which at that time he attributed to stress, diet and in part, drug use. The book is widely cited as useful for those coping with schizophrenia.

During this period, he lived mainly at the commune at Powell Lake, located 18 kilometers by boat from the nearest road or electricity. On February 14, 1971, he was diagnosed with severe schizophrenia and committed to Hollywood Hospital in Vancouver.[3]:37 Standard psychotherapy did not help him, and most of his doctors said his case was hopeless.

Vonnegut first attributed his recovery to orthomolecular megavitamin therapy and then wrote The Eden Express. Vonnegut does not presently attribute his recovery to vitamins. He subsequently studied medicine at Harvard Medical School and later came to the conclusion that he actually had bipolar disorder.[4] He is currently a pediatrician in Quincy, Massachusetts.[5]

Vonnegut published his second book, Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So, in 2010. Like The Eden Express, it is autobiographical.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Vonnegut, Mark (1975). The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity. ISBN 1-58322-543-9.
  2. ^ Vonnegut, Kurt (July 7, 1979), "The Necessary Miracle", The Nation, retrieved 2010-12-06 .
  3. ^ a b Vonnegut, Mark (2010). Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So. Delacorte Press. ISBN 978-0-385-34379-4.
  4. ^ Vonnegut, Mark. Mark Vonnegut Speaks at Convention, NAMI, May 17, 2003. accessed online, Jan 12, 2008.
  5. ^ Vonnegut, Mark. "A Few Thoughts From Dr. Vonnegut"., Accessed online, December 4, 2010.

External links[edit]