A Confederacy of Dunces (Hardcover)

By John Kennedy Toole, Walker Percy (Foreword by), Andrei Codrescu (Introduction by)
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Description


When Walker Percy penned these prophetic words in his foreword to the first edition of A Confederacy of Dunces, he could not have known just how wide Toole's "world of readers" would become. Released by Louisiana State University Press in April 1980, A Confederacy of Dunces is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon. Turned down by countless publishers and submitted by the author's mother years after his suicide, the book won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Today, there are over 1,500,000 copies in print worldwide in eighteen languages.

Toole's lunatic and sage novel introduces one of the most memorable characters in American literature, Ignatius Reilly, whom Percy dubs "slob extraordinary, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one -- who is in violent revolt against the entire modern age". Ignatius' ire explodes when his mother backs her car into another automobile. The owner of the damaged vehicle insists on payment; Mrs. Reilly demands that her son cease watching television and writing in his Big Chief tablet and get a job.

Set in New Orleans, A Confederacy of Dunces outswifts Swift, one of whose essays gives the book its title. As its characters burst into life, they leave the region and literature forever changed by their presences -- Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levy Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; Jones, the jivecat in space-age dark glasses. Satire and farce animate A Confederacy of Dunces; tragic awareness ennobles it.

Louisiana State University Press celebrates A Confederacy of Dunces' twentieth year withthis anniversary edition, which includes a new introduction by Andrei Codrescu that examines the relationship of this modern-day classic to the city whose pulse it so brilliantly captures.

About the Author


Toole taught at Hunter College, the University of Southwestern Louisiana, and Dominican College.

Walker Percy (1916-1990) was one of the most prominent American writers of the twentieth century. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, he was the oldest of three brothers in an established Southern family that contained both a Civil War hero and a U.S. senator. Acclaimed for his poetic style and moving depictions of the alienation of modern American culture, Percy was the bestselling author of six fiction titles--including the classic novel "The Moviegoer" (1961), winner of the National Book Award--and fifteen works of nonfiction. In 2005, "Time "magazinenamed "The Moviegoer" one of the best English-language books published since 1923.

A poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for NPR's "All Things Considered", ANDREI CODRESCU is the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University and the editor of the literary journal "Exquisite Corpse".
Product Details
ISBN: 9780807126066
ISBN-10: 0807126063
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication Date: March 2000
Pages: 338
Language: English