Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, and Harrison Bergeron, is a legendary figure in the literature world. His blend of science fiction and politics and his irreverent writing style helped him become both one of the most admired and most censored writers of all time. Now, as Smithsonian reports, a museum and library dedicated to Vonnegut's life and legacy is reopening in his hometown.
The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library initially opened in Indianapolis in 2011, but closed earlier this year due to space constraints. After a several-month hiatus, the institution is back at a new address. From September 22 to 28, visitors can get a "sneak peek" of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum at 543 Indiana Avenue, just a few miles away from the author's childhood home. The museum hopes to re-open permanently at the site soon.
Kurt Vonnegut was born to a wealthy family in Indianapolis on November 11, 1922. After living through the Great Depression and serving in World War II, Vonnegut settled in Cape Cod and penned his first novel, Player Piano, in 1952. He struggled as a writer for years, and it wasn't until the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969 that he became a household name. His most successful book was also his most controversial, and it's still being banned in schools decades later.
The preview of the reopened Kurt Vonnegut Museum coincides with National Banned Books Week. Many of the artifacts from the original museum will be on display, including Vonnegut's sketches, a replica of his typewriter, and his Purple Heart. Guests will also be invited to explore a recreation of the author's writing studio and browse a “freedom of expression exhibition" stocked with 100 of the most frequently banned books in the U.S.
Admission into the museum preview costs $20 online, and $25 for tickets at the door. Doors open at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday (Sunday noon to 5 p.m.), and special events related to censorship and free speech will be taking place there all week. You can purchase tickets here.