Walker Percy (1916-1990), the reclusive southern author most famous for his 1961 novel The Moviegoer, spent much of his adult life in Covington, Louisiana. In the spirit of traditional southern storytelling, this biography of Percy takes its shape from candid interviews with his family, close friends, and acquaintances. In thirteen interviews, we get to know Percy through his lifelong friend Shelby Foote, Percy's brothers LeRoy and Phin, his former priest, his housekeeper, and former teachers, among othersall in their own words. Over the course of the interviews, readers learn intimate details of Percy's writing process; his interaction with community members of different ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds; and his commitment to civil rights issues. What emerges is a multidimensional portrait of Percy as a man, a friend, and a family member.
|Publisher:||The University of North Carolina Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Dr. David Horace Harwell is assistant professor of English at the College of the Bahamas in Freeport, Bahamas.
What People are Saying About This
'An extraordinary man in a very small town that hardly knew anything about him' is how his housekeeper, Carrie Cyprian, described Walker Percy. But the beauty of these interviews is that they show Percy touching the lives of friends and fellow townspeople in some of the same ways that he drew readers into his novelswith irony, humor, and self-effacing wisdom, to be sure, but, more important, with great fellow feeling and uncommonly generous displays of common decency.Jay Tolson, senior writer at U.S. News & World Report and author of Pilgrim in the Ruins: A Life of Walker Percy
Walker Percy continues to fascinate us as a literary genius and also as someone endowed with uncommon wisdom, depth of character, and spiritual strength. David Harwell has felicitously assembled the reminiscences of a diverse group of Percy's neighbors, close friends, and kinspeople. Through their sharp insights and telling anecdotes, we discover why he was so beloved by those who knew him well. All admirers of Walker Percy's literary art will appreciate this remarkable, poignant collection.Bertram Wyatt-Brown, author of The House of Percy: Honor, Melancholy, and Imagination in a Southern Family and The Literary Percys: Family History, Gender and Legend
I persuaded him once to buy a Lincoln from Chink Baldwin down there in Covington. He had it for two years, and he hated that car. It was ostentatious, and he'd rather be in a pickup or something. He was funny about that. He never bought expensive clothes or anything like that. He never wanted any indication that he was well-fixed. I think he was glad enough not to have to scramble for a living, but he never wanted to be ostentatious to any degree whatsoever.Shelby Foote, in an interview in Walker Percy Remembered