Kurt Vonnegut's legacy continues 10 years after his death

Posted: 8:26 AM, Apr 12, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-12 15:29:04-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you mention Kurt Vonnegut, many in Indianapolis might reference the mural on Mass Ave., or remember a book they once read, but Hoosiers still appreciate the author who died 10 years ago this week.

In January, Mayor Joe Hogsett declared 2017 the "Year of Vonnegut."

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"Everybody does take away something different from Kurt's work," Tyler Keenan, a associate at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, said. "He wrote 14 novels so I like to tell people that there's a book for everybody. If you think you don't like Kurt, you're probably wrong."

Vonnegut's novels, hundreds of letters and his art are all on display at the library on N. Senate Ave. 

"You never really know who's going to be a Vonnegut fan," Keenan said. "We had a plumbers convention --  I think it was a wastewater convention in Indianapolis and that was one of our busiest days, which I was kind of surprised by."

The library and museum have been a labor of love for founder Julie Whitehead. New outreach programs are underway in Indianapolis and across the county to help highlight the Vonnegut family's history and the city's affection for one of its favorite sons.

"He inspires people," Whitehead said. "Even though he's 10 years gone, he will continue to inspire people because he was just a guy from Indiana who went to serve his country in World War II and came back with a very important story to tell."

The museum and library is working to move from its current spot after the building was sold. The non-profit and the owner of a building on Mass Ave. are now in court over disagreements about a lease deal.