Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library to Open

By Maryann Yin Comment

Vonnegut Library.JPGThe Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library will open fall 2010 in Vonnegut’s Indiana hometown of Indianapolis. The Emelie Building donated 1,100 square feet of space and the Lilly Endowment donated $50,000 to the library. Any extra money generated by the nonprofit library will go towards charitable causes like Indianapolis public high school newspapers, scholarship awards for public high school writing competitions, and developing a small press.

The space will include several “comfy” chairs for on-site reading, a small gift shop with Vonnegut memorabilia, a replica of his writing studio, and display cases featuring Vonnegut’s personal items and artwork loaned by supportive Vonnegut offspring. Edie Vonnegut, Vonnegut’s biological daughter and published author, has loaned her father’s Purple Heart award and rejection letters from publishers.

Julia Whitehead, the president of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, explained: “I came up with the idea for this library in November of 2008 after discovering the Henry Miller Library online. I wondered to myself why there wasn’t a similar place to memorialize someone as extraordinary as Vonnegut. I immediately called Kurt Vonnegut’s son, Dr. Mark Vonnegut, to gauge his interest. Mark offered his enthusiastic support.”

It has been three years since the author of Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle, or Breakfast of Champions has died. He now joins William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck–all these authors have their own memorial centers. (Via the Associated Press)