Kurt Vonnegut

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Vonnegut, Kurt (Jr.)

(1922–  ) writer; born in Indianapolis, Ind. He studied at Cornell (1940–42), the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1943), and the University of Chicago (1945–47; M.A. 1971). He served in the U.S. Army (1942–45), and his experiences as a prisoner of war in Dresden, Germany, influenced his future work, specifically his novel, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). He was a police reporter in Chicago (1947), worked for General Electric Company's public relations (1947–50), and taught at numerous institutions. He eventually settled in New York City, and produced a steady stream of novels, short stories, nonfiction, and plays. He was labeled as a science fiction writer early in his career, but soon began to appear more as a social satirist with such works as Cat's Cradle (1963). He is best known for his irony, wild inventive humor, and themes such as the uneasy balance between technology and humanity.