our recent review of Robert Tally's Kurt Vonnegut and the American Novel: A Postmodern Iconography, originally posted at the Los Angeles Review of Books:
KURT VONNEGUT first exploded into the nation’s consciousness in 1969 with the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five. The novel’s distinctive and ethical voice resonated with young Americans, and his appeal to countercultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s made him a reluctant literary celebrity. Absurdist novels such as Cat’s Cradle and Breakfast of Champions offered new ways of thinking about the self, the nation, and the world, and Vonnegut’s avuncular wisdom and anti-war sentiment appealed to the skeptical idealism of late-century America. Even as his celebrity waned, he continued to write poignant, experimental novels of the American experience, and his influence and appeal remained potent.
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