Primarily remembered for his unsettling autobiographically-based novel ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’, Vonnegut said he was the only person to benefit from the fire-bombing of Dresden. Heller, met at a literary festival, became a great friend and later a neighbour. Bellow was met occasionally (they’d both studied anthropology at the same university). Updike and Gordimer were correspondents (Gordimer, Miłosz, Davies and Vonnegut were photographed on a jaunt in Central Park together). Rushdie came to lunch, then called him “burned-out”. Grass, a friend, remarked to Vonnegut that he couldn’t have anyone his age to talk to. Achebe told him he’d stopped listening to the news.