Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, bestselling novel Slaughterhouse-Five. He was hailed as a black-humor commentator on the society in which he lived and as one of the most important contemporary writers.
About Kurt Vonnegut in brief
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, bestselling novel Slaughterhouse-Five. In a career spanning over 50 years, he published 14 novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of nonfiction. After his death, he was hailed as a black-humor commentator on the society in which he lived and as one of the most important contemporary writers. His son Mark published a compilation of his father’s unpublished compositions, titled Armageddon in Retrospect.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Seven Stories Press published Complete Stories, a collection of vonnegut’s short fiction including five previously unpublished stories. He was descended from German immigrants who settled in the United States in the mid-19th century; his patrilineal great-grandfather, Clemens VonnegUT of Westphalia, Germany, settled in Indianapolis and founded the Vonneguts’ Hardware Company. He married Jane Marie Cox, with whom he had three children. He later adopted his sister’s sons, after she died of cancer and her husband was killed in a train accident. He died of lung cancer at the age of 83. He had a son, Mark, with his wife Jane Marie, who he adopted after her husband died in a car crash. He also had a daughter, Mary, who died in 2008. He has a son with his second wife, Mary Anne, who was a nurse. He and his wife both attended the University of Chicago, while he worked as a night reporter for the City News Bureau.
He published his first novel, Player Piano, in 1952. He then published several novels that were well regarded, two of which were nominated for the Hugo Award for best novel. His breakthrough was his commercially and critically successful sixth novel, Slaughterhouses-Five, which went to the top of The New York Times Best Seller list. In the nearly 20 years that followed, he wrote several autobiographical essays and short-story collections, including Fates Worse Than Death, and A Man Without a Country. He also wrote several plays, including Cat’s Cradle, which was nominated for a Hugo Award. His wife, Jane, was a housekeeper for the family’s African-American housekeeper, Ida Young, for the first 10 years of his life, giving him moral instruction and giving him a sense of decency. His parents were fluent German speakers, but the ill feeling toward Germany during and after World War I caused them to abandon German culture in order to show their American patriotism. His father, and his father before him, Bernard, were architects; the architecture firm under Kurt Sr. designed such buildings as Das Deutsche Haus, the Indiana headquarters of the Bell Telephone Company, and the Fletcher Trust Building. The family’s fortune derived from ownership of a successful brewery. The Liebers’ brewery was closed in 1921 after the advent of Prohibition in the U.S. When the Great Depression hit, few people could afford to build a new building.