INDIANAPOLIS — Three years after his death, pieces of Kurt Vonnegut's life are coming together in his hometown, where a new library will chronicle the "Slaughterhouse Five" author's harrowing World War II experiences and his works that struck a chord with the Vietnam generation.
The Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library is scheduled to open this fall in downtown Indianapolis will be part library and part museum, with a collection including first editions of his books, a replica of his writing studio, his Purple Heart and multiple rejection letters that preceded his success.
The 1,100-square-foot space will also house an art gallery featuring his distinctive line drawings and a gift shop that will help generate income for the nonprofit library, said Julia Whitehead, the museum's executive director and founder.
Whitehead approached Vonnegut's son, Mark, in 2008 and proposed the idea of a memorial center. Weeks later, all three of Vonnegut's children signed on.
Vonnegut's eldest daughter, Edie Vonnegut, said her father loved libraries and would have wanted visitors to learn about his perseverance in the face of dismissive publishers. Among the items she's loaning the library are some of his rejection letters.