Breaking Down Vonnegut

A practical guide to Vonnegut’s works for young adults, secondary, and college students Kurt Vonnegut was a prolific American writer whose career spanned more than 50 years. Vonnegut’s world is a complex web. His books, short stories, and essays are among the gems of American literature, exploring themes of historical events and human limitations. Written for young adults through adulthood, the goal of Breaking Down Vonnegut is to relate essential facts about Kurt Vonnegut’s life and to address the themes underlying his imaginary worlds. Breaking Down Vonnegut features an overview of Vonnegut’s life and an investigation of the midwestern values that were challenged by his imprisonment by the Nazis during his wartime military service. Those themes, often cloaked in science fiction, historical parallels, and social science conundrums, address the major questions of life: the values by which we choose to live. Author Julia Whitehead is the founder and CEO of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in Indianapolis. Her ten years of experience leading the organization and learning about Vonnegut impelled her to share her knowledge and insight with fans and those new to Vonnegut’s life and work. Breaking Down Vonnegut Showcases the multiple genres in Vonnegut’s worldProvides a brief thematic tour through two of Vonnegut’s books and one short storyOffers three chapters of biographical information Explains why Kurt Vonnegut will remain one of the great American voices heard around the world This is the first book of its kind for middle and secondary students, and it will also delight educators, parents, and anyone interested in or studying Vonnegut’s life and work.