A fascinating deep dive into Kurt Vonnegut’s oeuvre and legacy, illuminating his unique perspective on environmental stewardship and our shared connections as humans, Earthlings, and stardust.
Vonnegut’s major apocalyptic trio—Cat’s Cradle, Slapstick, and Galápagos—prompt broad global, national, and species-level thinking about environmental issues through dramatic and fantastic scenarios. This book, Lucky Mud and Other Foma, tells the story of the origins and legacy of what Kurt Vonnegut understood as “planetary citizenship” and explores key roots, influences, literary techniques, and artistic expressions of his interest in environmental activism through his writing.
Vonnegut saw writing itself as an act of good citizenship, as a way of “poisoning” the minds of young people “with humanity . . . to encourage them to make a better world.” Often that literary activism meant addressing real social and environmental problems—polluted water, soil, and air; racial and economic injustice; isolating and dehumanizing technologies; and lives and landscapes desolated by war. Vonnegut’s remedies took many forms, from the redemptive power of the arts to artificial extended families to vital communities and engaged democracies. Reminding us of our shared connections as humans, as Earthlings, as stardust, Lucky Mud helps fans, scholars, and book lovers of all kinds experience how Vonnegut’s writings purposely challenge readers to think, create, and love.