Photograph of American writer William T. Vollmann.

William T. Vollmann

A year after publishing his 3,500-plus-page book on violence, Rising Up and Rising Down, in 2003, William T. Vollmann published a 726-page abridgment. He explained why he shortened the work: “I did it for the money. In other words, I can’t pretend (although you may disagree) that a one-volume reduction is any improvement upon the full version. All the same, it’s not necessarily worse. For one thing, the possibility now exists that someone might read it.” His novel Europe Central, published in 2005, won a National Book Award.

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