Kurt Vonnegut has died aged 84 in New York from brain injuries as a result of a fall earlier this year.
He became a cult figure in particular among students in the 1960s and 1970s with his classics of US counterculture. I remember my parents liking his books which is how I know about him. He wrote plays, essays and short fiction too.
The defining moment of his life was the firebombing of Dresden by allied forces in 1945 – an event he witnessed as a young prisoner of war.
His experience was the basis of his best-known work, Slaughterhouse Five. It was published in 1969 against the backdrop of the war in Vietnam, racial unrest and deep social upheaval in the United States.
Last year, he came out of semi-retirement to write his new book A Man Without A Country because of his “contempt” for current US President George Bush. Fighting to the end. A great contributor and a huge loss to modern literature.