Continental Freshwater People

In a recent blog post on the Vonnegut Library blog, Rai Peterson, an English Professor at Ball State University writes about the perception of how writers only come from

“that cluster of states on the east coast that were so small their names on maps had to be written on the ocean.”

One of my favorite quotes from “A Man Without a Country”, is when Vonnegut describes himself as a “continental freshwater person”. This is one of the more interesting ways that I have heard someone describe the mindset that comes with growing up in the midwest. Despite my love for Vonnegut’s work, I am a bit ashamed to admit that until I visited the Vonnegut Museum and Library I had no idea that he was from Indianapolis.

Growing up in Cincinnati Ohio, I also dreamed of becoming a writer and the sentiment that Peterson describes rings true to me to this day.

Later in life, like many others, I escaped the continental freshwater, and found my way to a city by the ocean. Over the last few years I have been visiting every state capital and reading a ton of books along the way. Vonnegut, along with all of the other writers in those lists who did not come from a city by the ocean give me a lot of hope that although writers may end up in the same place, but they can come from anywhere.

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