Kurt Vonnegut has died.
Here is where I would say something profound and beautiful about the myriad ways in which he shaped my aesthetic and helped me to become the writer and person I am today.
Let me just say that I read Slaughterhouse Five because my father told me that I should read every book that had ever been banned. I started with Slaughterhouse Five and I became addicted to Vonnegut. So I worked my way through many Vonnegut novels. I learned from him that a book can be funny and make a bold political statement. That it can be imaginative in the largest sense of the word and can say something huge about the way we live.
I think for me this is the first time I have confronted the death of one of my literary heroes. I definitely would not be a writer today if I had never read Slaughterhouse Five. Or Cats' Cradle. Or "Welcome to the Monkey House." My favorite for a while was a sappy little story called "A Long Walk to Forever." It is sappy, but kind of sweet.
Vonnegut is dead. Long live Vonnegut!