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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.