Five unpublished Kurt Vonnegut stories have been discovered

Published September 12, 2017

Kurt Vonnegut

IMAGE COURTESY OF WNET-TV.

Good news for Kurt Vonnegut fans—five previously unpublished short stories by the author will debut in a massive, forthcoming collection of Vonnegut shorts, Complete Stories.

While putting together Complete Stories, editors Dan Wakefield and Jerome Klinkowitz, a longtime Vonnegut scholar, discovered a trove of unfinished and obscure stories in the author’s archives at the Lilly Library in Bloomington, Indiana. On September 26, they will be published alongside 92 other shorts that span across the writer’s nearly seven-decade long career.

Born in 1922, Vonnegut bore witness to a series of profoundly impactful events in America’s history—the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Vietnam and Cold Wars, and 9/11, followed by the Iraq War—that provided the raw material, and empathetic reactions, for some of his most popular novels. He actually turned chaos into literary art: the Dresden bombing became Slaughterhouse-Five; the international arms race, Cat’s Cradle.

But Vonnegut’s first novel wasn’t published until 1952, by which point he’d already began dabbling in short stories, some of which never saw the light of day. Until now, that is.