Kurt Vonnegut
Dial Press, New York, 2009: originally published 1969, English
ISBN: 9780385333849

Satirical novel that details the World War II experiences of soldier Billy Pilgrim. Vonnegut writes on the title page of the original 1969 edition: “A fourth-generation German-American now living in easy circumstances on Cape Cod (and smoking too much), who, as an American infantry scout hors de combat, as a prisoner of war, witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany, ‘The Florence of the Elbe,’ a long time ago, and survived to tell the tale. This is a novel somewhat in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadore, where the flying saucers come from. Peace.”

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Ellen Lupton

I was determined at age ten to read all the works of Kurt Vonnegut. My vintage collection of four-dollar paperbacks still sits in my library. Vonnegut’s books successfully warped my preadolescent mind—none more so than Slaughterhouse-Five, which randomly mixes science fiction with vivid accounts of chaos and destruction during World War II. Novels like this one can inspire designers to think anew about the mixing of genres and vocabularies and the ability of words to create enduring images.

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