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

Going All the Way
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”.”

Going All the Way Turns 50

Kara Kavensky, writing for The Towne Post:

In 1970, Dan Wakefield’s novel “Going All The Way” was published. More than 20 years later, it was adapted into a screenplay and movie starring Jeremy Davies, Ben Affleck and Rachel Weiss. This month marks a golden anniversary for the book.

The movie was released just before “Good Will Hunting”, and was one of Affleck’s early movies. At the time, Wakefield was able to get Affleck to voice the audiobook.

“Going All The Way” is a novel that almost wasn’t. When Wakefield initially pitched his idea for the novel to his publishers, he was met with strong discouragement. Their reaction only fueled his desire to see it through. 

“I was taken to a famous restaurant and told that I was a journalist, not a novelist,” Wakefield says.

Continue reading at the Towne Post

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” 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.
Charles Webb Enters Heaven
Charles Webb, author of The Graduate (an identity that dogged and bedeviled him his whole life). died a few days ago at age 81.
My feature on WTHR about Emmett Till and today’s attitudes
I was featured on WTHR for my coverage of the Emmett Till murder trial 65 years ago.
New Piece for CounterPunch: “From Emmett Till to George Floyd”
I am still here, and I now see headlines comparing the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis to that of Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955.

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

“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