The literary world is diminished somewhat <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/308ee984-e8e9-11db-a162-000b5df10621.html".with the passing of Kurt Vonnegut, whose works were rife with social commentary and lines that gave conservative high school English teachers fits since the publication of Slaughterhouse Five, the story of a war veteran whose timeline comes loose and snarls itself around parts of history that it wouldn't otherwise be touching.
Vonnegut got his start in journalism, but wound up writing fiction when it didn't pan out in Chicago in the late 1940's. His early stories didn't get much press time but were lauded by reviewers and critics as fascinating science fiction, the genre with which he is still associated. Slaughterhouse Five put him on the map in 1969 by hitting the bestseller list of the New York Times. Two years later, Harvard appointed Vonnegut to teach creative writing and the University of Chicago granted him his MA, after the submission of an earlier text (Cat's Cradle) as his thesis.
Vonnegut died last night following complications of head injuries he suffered after falling in his home last week. The literary world will indeed miss him.