Iconic author Kurt Vonnegut dead at 84

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Iconic US writer Kurt Vonnegut has died at the age of 84, his wife has revealed.

Jill Krementz said the American literary giant - author of Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle and God Bless You, Mr Rosewater - died on Wednesday night as a result of head injuries sustained in a fall in March.

Vonnegut, a fourth-generation German-American born in Indiana on November 11th 1922 was an award-winning author who found a cult following among students, especially in the 1960s and 1970s.

Critical acclaim was the strongest for arguably his most well-known works, Slaughterhouse-Five and Cat's Cradle, the former based upon his formative experiences in the bombing of Dresden in the second world war, where he was for a time a prisoner of war.

In his biography he wrote that the firebombing of Dresden was a "work of art", adding that the city resembled "a tower of smoke and flame to commemorate the rage and heartbreak of so many who had had their lives warped or ruined by the indescribable greed and vanity and cruelty of Germany".

Slaughterhouse-Five was released against the backdrop of the deeply-unpopular Vietnam war in 1969, and was responsible for coining the resigned resistance phrase of "so it goes".

Vonnegut's hallmarks included taking a darkly humorous approach to addressing expansive existential questions, which initially led him to being wrongly labelled as a science-fiction writer.

In 1971 Cat's Cradle won him a Masters degree from Chicago University after his original thesis was rejected while studying there after the second world war.

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