The iconic writer, who challenged conventional wisdom through 14 novels and numerous essays, died Wednesday from a brain injury. Vonnegut survived a nearly lifelong smoking habit only to succumb to a recent fall in his apartment. He once joked that he would prefer to die in a plane crash on Kilimanjaro and said he would avoid suicide “so as not to set a bad example for my children.”
Though troubled by depression, he enjoyed a long, fruitful and humor-filled life. He will surely be missed.
AP via Washington Post:
His characters tended to be miserable anti-heros with little control over their fate. Vonnegut said the villains in his books were never individuals, but culture, society and history, which he said were making a mess of the planet.
“We probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard… and too damn cheap,” he once suggested carving into a wall on the Grand Canyon, as a message for flying-saucer creatures.
He retired from novel writing in his later years, but continued to publish short articles. He had a best-seller in 2005 with “A Man Without a Country,” a collection of his nonfiction work, including jabs at the Bush administration (“upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography”) and the uncertain future of the planet.