© 2023
Local NPR for the Cape, Coast & Islands 90.1 91.1 94.3
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kurt Vonnegut owned this 'creepy' sculpture. It could be yours

Lucy Loomis
Sturgis Library

A nod to Slaughterhouse-Five? A fan's bronze piece to be auctioned at Sturgis Library in October.

BARNSTABLE VILLAGE—Is the man peeking out from a pig's head alluding to one of the great American novels?

We may never know. We do know the unsigned bronze statue, on view at Sturgis Library, was sculpted by a Kurt Vonnegut Jr. fan, and that the writer himself once owned it.

Vonnegut's family recently donated the piece to the library, where he was a trustee during the 1960s and his daughter Edie is today.

The mysterious sculpture will join numerous paintings and sketches of Vonnegut as part of a large book sale, from Monday through October 14.

"It's a little creepy," library director Lucy Loomis said of the piece. "But I think it will appeal to someone."

In 1952 Vonnegut published his first novel, Player Piano, not long after he moved his family to Wianno.

"The author feels that Cape Cod is the best possible retreat from the tentacles of the business technocracy," The Barnstable Patriot remarked that year.

For a time, the writer dabbled in that business when he sold Saabs in town. Vonnegut died in New York in 2007.

First editions of some of his paperbacks will be among about 1,000 books for sale, most from the estate of a local collector. Proceeds will benefit the library.

"We're just so grateful to people who donate their books on a regular basis," Loomis said. "But this is a really special high-end sale."

So it goes.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.