Kurt Vonnegut: War Hero & American Novelist
My family and I then moved to Schenectady, New York, where I worked as a publicist for General Electric. By 1951, I earned enough as a writer to quit my job and move to Massachusetts, where I began writing full time. My first novel, “Player Piano,” was published in 1952, followed by “The Sirens of Titan” (1959), “Mother Night” (1961), “Cat’s Cradle” (1963), and “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater” (1965).
Tragedy struck in 1958, when my sister, Alice, died of cancer. Less than two days earlier, her husband perished in a train wreck. My wife and I adopted three of my sister’s children.
In the March of ’69, I published “Slaughterhouse-Five,” using my experiences as a prisoner of war during the Dresden firebombing to address the issues of war, ecology, overpopulation, and emerging consumerism.
Although some critics still categorize my writing as science fiction, I know for a fact that many others see it for what it really is – a thoughtful study of the human condition and the ways in which humans interact with their surroundings.
In 1970 I began teaching creative writing at Harvard University.
The following year, me and my wife divorced, and I moved to New York City. I remarried in ’79, to photographer Jill Krementz. We had a daughter, Lily, in ’82. Today, I have a total of seven children, and a number of grandchildren.
After “Slaughterhouse-Five” came the thematically similar, but not as well received, “Breakfast of Champions” in 1973. Most reviewers seemed to dislike my “Slapstick” (1976) and the novels that followed in the ’80s and early ’90s.
My early books, such as “Player Piano” (1952) and