Novelist and naturalist Peter Matthiessen dead at 86

Novelist and naturalist Peter Matthiessen dead at 86

SAGAPONACK, N.Y., April 6 (UPI) -- Peter Matthiessen, the only writer to win the National Book Award in both fiction and nonfiction, died at his home in New York; he was 86.
Brooks Hays

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Monday, Nov. 11, 2013.
By United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Friday, April 12, 2013.
By United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012.
By United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Thursday, April 12, 2012.
By United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Friday, Nov. 11, 2011.
By United Press International

Indianapolis crane collapse injures three

INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Three people were injured when a crane crashed into a historic Indianapolis building co-designed by the grandfather of author Kurt Vonnegut, officials say.

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008.
By United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Saturday, April 12, 2008.
By United Press International

The almanac

UPI Almanac for Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007.
By United Press International

Techno artist taps novel for album title

ANN ARBOR, Maine, June 5 (UPI) -- Michigan electronic music artist Matthew Dear turned to the late Kurt Vonnegut for the title of his new album.

U.S. literary great Kurt Vonnegut dies

NEW YORK, April 12 (UPI) -- Kurt Vonnegut Jr., whose novels such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle" resonated with a generation, has died in New York at the age of 84.

Injured Kurt Vonnegut sends son to Indy

INDIANAPOLIS, April 11 (UPI) -- The son of Indianapolis native son Kurt Vonnegut Jr. will speak at an Indy event while the "Slaughterhouse-Five" author recovers from a fall.

The Almanac

UPI almanac for Nov. 11, 2006.
By United Press International

Chicago's City News Service to close

CHICAGO, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- City News Service, successor to Chicago's legendary City News Bureau that served as a boot camp for generations of reporters, is closing after 115 years. The City News Service fell victim to budget cutting at the Tribune Co., which announced this month it
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Kurt Vonnegut
Writer Kurt Vonnegut arrives for the June 16, 2004 New York premiere of the film "The Hunting of the President" which deals with former President Clinton White Water scandal. (UPI Photo/Ezio Petersen)

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., ( /ˈvɒnɨɡət/; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer of the 20th century. He wrote such works as Cat's Cradle (1963), Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), and Breakfast of Champions (1973) blending satire, gallows humor, and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to third-generation German-American parents, Kurt Vonnegut, Sr., and Edith Lieber. Both his father and his grandfather Bernard Vonnegut attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology and were architects in the Indianapolis firm of Vonnegut & Bohn. His great-grandfather Clemens Vonnegut, Sr. was the founder of the Vonnegut Hardware Company, an Indianapolis institution. Vonnegut graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis in May 1940 and matriculated to Cornell University that fall. Though majoring in chemistry, he was Assistant Managing Editor and Associate Editor of The Cornell Daily Sun. He was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity, as was his father. While at Cornell, Vonnegut enlisted in the U.S. Army. The Army transferred him to the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the University of Tennessee to study mechanical engineering. On Mothers' Day in 1944, his mother committed suicide with sleeping pills.

Kurt Vonnegut's experience as a soldier and prisoner of war had a profound influence on his later work. As a private with the 423rd Infantry Regiment, 106th Infantry Division, Vonnegut was captured during the Battle of the Bulge on December 19, 1944, after the 106th was cut off from the rest of Courtney Hodges's First Army. "The other American divisions on our flanks managed to pull out: We were obliged to stay and fight. Bayonets aren't much good against tanks..." Imprisoned in Dresden, Vonnegut was chosen as a leader of the POWs because he spoke some German. After telling the German guards "...just what I was going to do to them when the Russians came..." he was beaten and had his position as leader taken away. While a prisoner, he witnessed the fire bombing of Dresden in February 1945 which destroyed most of the city.

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It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kurt Vonnegut."
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