Kurt Vonnegut interviews Budd Schulberg in the Paris Review (2001):
What did your parents make of Sammy?
I have a letter here from my father. He wrote, in part:
I think the writing is swell, really fresh and vigorous … but I am terribly and literally frightened … I think it is terrific writing and just what someone should someday do. BUT I really think you’ve got to be a Hemingway and say to hell with Hollywood for all time to get away with it. I think honest and vigorous as the writing is here, that it is too honest and that it means the end of you in Hollywood. I think this should really give you pause. I am so afraid of the results it might have on you, and in fact everyone of us, including mother just starting out in the agency business, that I would like to emphasize my fear in such a way as to advise your even destroying this letter after you get it.
He was really worried about me. He advised me to put the book away and try to write another. Then, if along the line I should hit and be successful, so that 1 didn’t have to depend on Hollywood for a living, for movie writing, then maybe I could go back and publish the first book.
I wrote him back, thanking him for praising the book but saying that if I didn’t publish the book I would give up. It would mean that I was afraid to stand up to Hollywood. They expected me to come out, be a good boy, take my money, do executive work and probably wind up running a studio like my old man. That’s the way they saw me.
Of course, what my father didn’t anticipate, what nobody did, was the impact of the book. But he was right in terms of the Hollywood reaction to the book. It was unbelievably extreme.