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

Mark Vonnegut (whom his parents named after Mark Twain) graduated from Swarthmore Collegemarker 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.

During his undergraduate years, he set out to become a Unitarian minister. He eventually abandoned that goal.

He is the author of The Eden Express, which describes his trip to British Columbiamarker 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 Psychiatric Hospital in Vancouver. Standard psychotherapy did not help him, and most of his doctors said his case was hopeless. Then Vonnegut went to the Brain Bio Center. "They fixed me up with embarrassingly inexpensive, simple, nonprescription pills," he later said. "Vitamins mostly."

Vonnegut first attributed his recovery to orthomolecular megavitamin therapy and then wrote The Eden Express. He subsequently studied medicine at Harvard Medical Schoolmarker and later came to the conclusion that he actually had bipolar disorder. He is currently a pediatrician in Quincymarker, Massachusettsmarker.


  1. .
  2. Adams, Junius. "Orthomolecular Psychiatry". Cosmopolitan, June 1977.
  3. Vonnegut, Mark. Mark Vonnegut Speaks at Convention, NAMI, May 17, 2003. accessed online, Jan 12, 2008.

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