Skip to Main Content

Granfalloon: Celebrating the Life and Work of Kurt Vonnegut

A research guide started in 2022, Vonnegut's centenary year. Work on this guide continues.

Topographic map of Lake Maxinkuckee

Kurt Vonnegut was born into a prosperous Indianapolis family on November 11, 1922. Although he would leave the state in 1940, Vonnegut's Indiana childhood and youth held enduring importance for him, with Indianapolis in particular remaining at the core of this writer's identity throughout his life:

"All my jokes are Indianapolis. All my attitudes are Indianapolis. My adenoids are Indianapolis. If I ever severed myself from Indianapolis, I would be out of business. What people like about me is Indianapolis." (McFadden Memorial Lecture 1986; quoted in Boomhower, Indiana Originals, p. 81)

Discover the places that inspired Indianapolis's writing community.

Other Indiana localities provided Vonnegut with more indirect inspiration. Examples include Lake Maxinkuckee, where the Vonnegut family owned a group of cottages, Camp Atterbury, and New Harmony.

Topographic map of Lake Maxinkuckee courtesy of Wells Library Map Collections, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.