John Kennedy Toole's (1937-1969) A Confederacy of Dunces is the Great American Novel that almost wasn't. Due in part to his failure to secure a publisher, Toole took his own life in 1969. Through the perseverance of his ambitious mother, Thelma Ducoing Toole, the manuscript landed on the desk of reluctant reader and noted novelist Walker Percey in the late 1970s.
What Percy found as he scanned page after manuscript page was a brilliantly conceived story capturing the "peculiarities of New Orleans, its back streets, its out-of-the-way neighborhoods, its odd speech, its ethnic whites." Percy also discovered the novel's larger-than-life cast of characters, led by its protagonist, the often repulsive Ignatius J. Reilly. Impressed by Toole's work, percy brought the manuscript to the attention of the Louisiana State University Press in Baton Rouge, which published an initial run of eight hundred copies in 1980. The following year Toole was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Since then more than a million and a half copies of A Confederacy of Dunces have been sold worldwide.
8 x 5 x 1 inches
Author: John Kennedy Toole