Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.: (vŏn´əgət) 1922–2007, American novelist, b. Indianapolis. After serving in World War II, he worked as a police reporter and wrote short stories for mainstream and science-fiction magazines, work the contributed to the development of the distinctive voice and wry black humor that mark his later fiction. Vonnegut's satirical, pessimistic, and yet morally urgent novels often portray the world as a place of cruelty and indifference and frequently protest the horrors of the 20th cent., as in the best-selling Slaughterhouse-Five (1969; film, 1972), centered on the horrific firebombing of Dresden, which Vonnegut witnessed. His fiction spoke with particular forcefulness to the generation that came of age in the 1960s and 70s. Vonnegut's books frequently include elements of science fiction, featuring fantastic plots and sometimes involving such devices as trips in outer space, time faults, and apocalyptic destruction. Among his other novels are Player Piano (1952), Mother Night (1961; film, 1996), Cat's Cradle (1963), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965), Breakfast of Champions (1973; film, 1999), Deadeye Dick (1983), Bluebeard (1987), and the novel-memoir Timequake (1997). He also wrote short stories, plays, and essays, e.g., the collections Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons (1974), The Man without a Country (2005), and the posthumously published Armageddon in Retrospect (2008).

See his semiautobiographical Fates Worse than Death (1991); his complete stories ed. by J. Klimkowitz and D. Wakefield (2017); W. R. Allen, ed., Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut (1988) and P. J. Reed and M. Leeds, Vonnegut Chronicles: Interviews and Essays (1996); D. Wakefield, ed., Kurt Vonnegut: Letters (2012); biography by C. J. Shields (2011); studies by P. J. Reed (1972 and 1997), S. Schatt (1976), J. Lundquist (1977), J. Klinkowitz (1982, 2004, and 2009), R. Merrill, ed. (1990), L. Mustazza (1990 and 1994), W. R. Allen (1991), D. E. Morse (1992 and 2003), H. Bloom, ed. (2000), K. A. Boon, ed. (2001), T. F. Marvin (2002), J. Tomedi (2004), and T. F. Davis (2006); M. Leeds, The Vonnegut Encyclopedia (1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Slaughterhouse-Five: Selected full-text books and articles

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five By Dennis Stanton Smith Hungry Minds, 1997
Librarian's tip: This is the CliffsNotes on Slaughterhouse-Five
Kurt Vonnegut: A Critical Companion By Thomas F. Marvin Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian's tip: Chap. 8 "Slaughterhouse-Five"
The Modern American Novel of Violence By Patrick W. Shaw Whitston, 2000
Librarian's tip: "Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five" begins on p. 100
Kurt Vonnegut: Images and Representations By Marc Leeds; Peter J. Reed Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian's tip: "In Search of Slaughterhouse-Five" begins on p. 135
Insanity as Redemption in Contemporary American Fiction: Inmates Running the Asylum By Barbara Tepa Lupack University Press of Florida, 1995
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Pilgrim's Regress: Slaughterhouse-Five"
Classic Cult Fiction: A Companion to Popular Cult Literature By Thomas Reed Whissen Greenwood Press, 1992
Librarian's tip: "Slaughterhouse-Five or the Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death" begins on p. 213
"It Made Me Think, Seeing Myself like That": Affective Literary Representations of the Inferior Masculine Self, or Good-Bye, Billy Pilgrim By Lee, Terry The Journal of Men's Studies, Vol. 11, No. 2, Winter 2003
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Opposing Censorship in the Public Schools: Religion, Morality, and Literature By June Edwards Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1998
Librarian's tip: Chap. 6 "Religion and Morality in Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut"
The Vonnegut Chronicles: Interviews and Essays By Peter J. Reed; Marc Leeds Greenwood Press, 1996
Librarian's tip: "Beyond the Slaughterhouse: Tralfamadorian Reading Theory in the Novels of Kurt Vonnegut" begins on p. 91
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Between Two Worlds: The American Novel in the 1960's By Sanford Pinsker Whitston, 1980
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Slaughterhouse-Five begins on p. 95
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