Vonnegut 1922 - 2007 (85)

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why


A Man Without

a Country

Kurt Vonnegut (November 11, 1922 - April 11, 2007) was an American author known for his work mixing satire, black comedy, and science fiction. He was born in Indianapolis to a wealthy middle-class family. He began studying anthropology but stopped to enlist in the army after Pearl Harbor. In 1944 his mother committed suicide while he was captured after the Battle of the Ardennes.

He survived the bombing of Dresden in February 1945, hiding in a basement (he later experimented with a book entitled "Slaughterhouse No. 5") shortly after the Germans brought him to the surface with other prisoners to help bury the dead. But there were so many corpses that eventually they had to burn them, a fact that haunted him forever. After the war he studied biochemistry at the University of Chicago, married his school girlfriend, and got a job as a reporter.

In 1952 he wrote his first novel, "Player Piano" set in a mechanized society, which contributed to his classification as a science fiction writer. This was followed by "The Sirens of Titan" (1959), where human history is described as a random event due to some aliens looking for a spare part for their spaceship. In "Slaughterhouse No. 5" (1969) Vonnegut recreates his experience in Dresden; today the book is included in the most important American novels. Vonnegut wrote plays, short stories, articles and essays. He lived mainly in New York. "A man without a homeland" was his last book, with a series of autobiographical texts. He passed away on April 11, 2007.