Kurt Vonnegut

Although Vonnegut often resisted his inclusion in the science-fiction club, he did consider himself part of the last generation of great American novelists (generally labeled “postmodernists”), bound together by this tendency to write about unreal and incomprehensible ideas in unusual styles. He knew there would be more novelists, of course, and some of them great, but he feared that never again would so many untested young authors hone their craft together, as a community. Part of this was rooted in economic changes to the publishing industry, but there was another threat to the novelist’s place in society: censorship. In a 1979 letter to Soviet writer Felix Kuznetzov, Vonnegut laments that writers everywhere “are routinely attacked by fellow citizens as being pornographers or corrupters of children and celebrators of violence and persons of no talent and so on. In my own case, such charges are brought against my works several times a year.”

Since its publication in March of 1969, Slaughterhouse-Five has been banned in several communities across the U.S., and challenged over 350 times for its sexual content, violence, obscenity, and “anti-religious” language. Perhaps most famously, 32 copies of the novel were burned in a Drake, ND school district in 1973. Later that year, Vonnegut wrote to Drake Public School Board President Charles McCarthy to express his anger and dismay at the school board’s actions, and to challenge the labeling of his work as “offensive.”
— Sarah Tolf, on tor.com “Kurt Vonnegut and the Science Fiction Writers’ Lodge”

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