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Kurt Vonnegut

American writer

1922   -   2007

movement: atheism, humanism
genre: satire
country of citizenship: United States of America
native language: American English
educated at: University of Chicago, Cornell University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Tennessee
occupation: playwright, writer, screenwriter, novelist, essayist, science fiction writer, journalist, peace activist, author
award received: John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, Purple Heart, Humanist of the Year, Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction, with further collections being published after his death. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Vonnegut attended Cornell University but dropped out in January 1943 and enlisted in the United States Army. As part of his training, he studied mechanical engineering at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) and the University of Tennessee. He was then deployed to Europe to fight in World War II and was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He was interned in Dresden and survived the Allied bombing of the city by taking refuge in a meat locker of the slaughterhouse where he was imprisoned. After the war, Vonnegut married Jane Marie Cox, with whom he had three children. He later adopted his sister's three sons, after she died of cancer and her husband was killed in a train accident. Vonnegut published his first novel, Player Piano, in 1952. The novel was reviewed positively but was not commercially successful. In the nearly 20 years that followed, Vonnegut published several novels that were only marginally successful, such as Cat's Cradle (1963) and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1964). Vonnegut's breakthrough was his commercially and critically successful sixth novel, Slaughterhouse-Five. The book's anti-war sentiment resonated with its readers amidst the ongoing Vietnam War and its reviews were generally positive. After its release, Slaughterhouse-Five went to the top of The New York Times Best Seller list, thrusting Vonnegut into fame. He was invited to give speeches, lectures and commencement addresses around the country and received many awards and honors. Later in his career, Vonnegut published several autobiographical essays and short-story collections, including Fates Worse Than Death (1991), and A Man Without a Country (2005). After his death, he was hailed as a morbidly comical commentator on the society in which he lived and as one of the most important contemporary writers. Vonnegut's son Mark published a compilation of his father's unpublished compositions, titled Armageddon in Retrospect. In 2017, Seven Stories Press published Complete Stories, a collection of Vonnegut's short fiction including 5 previously unpublished stories. Complete Stories was collected and introduced by Vonnegut friends and scholars Jerome Klinkowitz and Dan Wakefield. Numerous scholarly works have examined Vonnegut's writing and humor.
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Cat's Cradle

novel by Kurt Vonnegut

author: Kurt Vonnegut



novel by Kurt Vonnegut

author: Kurt Vonnegut


Breakfast of Champions

novel by Kurt Vonnegut

author: Kurt Vonnegut


Mother Night

novel by Kurt Vonnegut; fictional memoirs of a Howard W. Campbell Jr., an American who moved to Germany in 1923 at age 11, and later became a well-known playwright and Nazi propagandist

author: Kurt Vonnegut


The Sirens of Titan

comic science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., published in 1959, about a Martian invasion of Earth, exploring the issues of free will, omniscience, and the purpose of human history

author: Kurt Vonnegut


Hocus Pocus

novel by Kurt Vonnegut

author: Kurt Vonnegut


God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian

collection of short fictional interviews written by Kurt Vonnegut and first broadcast on WNYC; the title parodies Vonnegut's 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

author: Kurt Vonnegut


Palm Sunday

1981 collection of short stories, speeches, essays, letters, and other previously unpublished works by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

author: Kurt Vonnegut




author: Kurt Vonnegut


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