Kurt Vonnegut: Author Biography

So It Goes

In 2007 we lost Kurt Vonnegut, one of fiction's most beloved authors. Known for his witty and ironic treatment of culture and the human condition, Vonnegut often drew upon the range of despair, turmoil, and cynicism he experienced in his own amazing life. One of his most famous quotes "so it goes" was a oft repeated mantra for dealing with death and loss. This quote originated in Slaughterhouse Five and was inspired by his own experience in the firebombing of Dresden during World War II.

Timeline of Works

(in reverse chronological order)
2007Vonnegut dies on April 11, 2007 at the age of 84
2005A Man without a Country - Vonnegut returns with a collection of recent essays on America
1999Bagombo Snuff Box - Collection of Vonnegut's first magazine short stories from the 1950's
1999God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian - A series of fictional interviews from the after-life with recent history's greatest names
1997Timequake - Part biography, part fiction, a glitch in the space-time continuum makes everybody repeat the past decade
1990Hocus Pocus - Vietnam vet goes from professor to inmate in a tale that comments on class in America
1990Fates Worse Than Death - A follow-up to Palm Sunday that discusses Vonnegut's suicide attempt
1987Bluebeard - Satire on art and its commercialization, follows a minor character from Breakfast of Champions
1985Galapagos - Stranded on an island during a global crisis, the last 'humans' on earth slowly (de)-evolve
1982Deadeye Dick - A freak accident bestows this nickname and leads to a long dark search for absolution
1981Palm Sunday - Autobiographical collection of previously unreleased stories, essays, and interviews
1979Jailbird - Tale of corporate and governmental corruption following a lowly bureaucrat from the Watergate scandal
1976Slapstick - Amid the ruin of western civilization, a man becomes president based on his plan to end loneliness
1974Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons - Collection of essays on Vonnegut's life, the world, and other writers
1973Breakfast of Champions - Satire of American culture, a car dealer takes fiction for reality and is pushed over the edge
1969Slaughterhouse-Five - A man unstuck in time witnesses the firebombing of Dresden and the numbing effects of war
1968Welcome to the Monkey House - Collection of short stories that includes Harrison Bergeron and EPICAC
1965God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - A philanthropist looks at human nature while a greedy lawyer aims to dethrone him
1963Player Piano - When everything is replaced by machines (even the human mind), can anything be done?
1961Mother Night - An American in Germany at the start of WWII becomes a double agent and ends up in an Israeli war trial
1961Canary in a Cat House - Collection of twelve short stories, later republished in Welcome to the Monkey House
1959The Sirens of Titan - The richest man in America travels through the solar system in this commentary of human nature
1952Cat's Cradle - Cold War parody in which "Ice-Nine" replaces nuclear weapons as the tool for humanity's self-destruction
1947Vonnegut moves to Schenectady, NY as a publicist for GE (the year they begin dumping PCB's in the Hudson River)
1945As a POW in Dresden, Vonnegut witnesses the firebombings which would become the basis for Slaughterhouse-Five
1944Vonnegut is captured in the Battle of the Bulge
1943Vonnegut enrolls at what is now Carnegie-Mellon, but shortly after enlists in the Army
1940Vonnegut attends Cornell University in Ithaca, New York to study Biochemistry
1922Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was born in Indianapolis, Indiana