Dan Wakefield’s blog, novels, memoirs, and journalism

On the passing of Bryan Fonseca:

Bryan Fonseca was one of the true artists who brought passion and intelligence to this city. His plays of diversity and inclusion were masterfully done, and I believe they would have appealed to the larger audience that some here were fearful would not respond to the pressing and controversial issues that Bryan was committed to dramatizing. Not only COVID, but the parochially fearful,  un-responsive forces that mistrusted his larger vision, led to his demise. He was a true pioneer who fought to make us more open, more connected to all the colors and passions of our municipal rainbow. His passing leaves a hole in the heart of the city. I was proud to be a “collaborator” in his theatre and all it stood for.

— Dan.
Going All the Way
Going All the Way turns 50 this year.

Going All the Way Turns 50

Two friends return home from the Korean War to find their world—and themselves—irrevocably altered in this novel hailed by Kurt Vonnegut as “gruesomely accurate and enchanting” and “wildly sexy”.

Enjoy time at home with these podcasts

Take a creative journey in words and music with Dan Wakefield and Sophie Faught on The Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam. Check out these featured episodes:

Tribute to Indiana Avenue
– Home of Great Jazz

We honor our great jazz musicians with guest Aleta Hodge, author of Indiana Avenue: Musical Journey, 1915-2015. On keyboard is Carl Hines, who played piano on the Avenue.

Starting Out

Dan tells what it was like starting out as a writer and covering the Emmett Till trial for The Nation magazine.
Sophie tells what it was like stating out as a jazz musician, playing at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Creativity and Crisis

Mark Vonnegut, the doctor and writer son of Kurt, joins writer Dan Wakefield and jazz saxophone star Sophie Faught on the most popular “Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam!” Mark tells how “the arts are both a reason and a way to get well,” and joins Sophie for a saxophone duet in the finale.

Cole Porter

Our “Uncle Dan and Sophie Jam” tribute to Cole Porter of Peru, Indiana, one of the greatest names in The Great American Songbook, features Peru native Cathy Day, who is writing a book on the Hoosier composer.

From the Desk of Dan Wakefield
Going All The Way (again) at The Red Key Tavern
On Tuesday afternoon, August 18, we held a “socially distanced book signing” outside on the patio of The Red Key Tavern for the 50th anniversary of my novel Going All The Way. Twelve people signed up on my website to come at fifteen minute intervals from …
Listen to the new Naptown podcast with Susan Neville
In these 10 episodes you’ll hear how my life intersected with major figures and events of the late 20th century.
Oversexed in Indianapolis
Vonnegut's review of Going All the Way originally appeared in a 1970 issue of LIFE magazine and is currently published in his book of essays, 'Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons'.
“Going All the Way” turns 50
Kara Kavensky at The Towne Post sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Dan Wakefield as his best-selling book, "Going All the Way" turns 50.

Read more of Dan’s blogs…

More from Dan

Indianapolis Monthly has been nominated for 14 different awards
My piece, “How an old white guy got woke” was nominated for best in Essays/ Criticism/ Commentary.

“The crowds are gone and this Delta town is back to its silent, solid life that is based on cotton and the proposition that a whole race of men was created to pick it.”
65 years ago as a young journalist for The Nation, I was sent to Mississippi to cover the trial of Emmett Till, a 15-year-old boy who allegedly whistled at a white woman. You can read the full story at The Nation.

Select books by Dan Wakefield

NY in the 50s

“A precise and moving recreation of a time and a place when the world seemed small and we knew everyone in it.”

– Joan Didion

Story of your Life

“What a wonderful book is Dan Wakefield’s The Story of Your Life. It will help many people to write their own spiritual autobiographies… And I suspect that many readers are going to want to take one of Wakefield’s workshops in writing your spiritual autobiography.”

– Madeline L’Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time

Going All the Way

“Wakefield’s reportage of life in Middle America, as one might expect, is gruesomely accurate and enchanting.”

– Kurt Vonnegut (Read the full review.)

“Wonderful, sad and funny; a scathing portrait of middle America through the eyes of a new fictional character who will inevitably be compared to Portnoy and Holden Caulfield”

– Gay Talese

Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

Philo of Alexandria

Dan Wakefield

Dan Wakefield