About the Author
John Kennedy Toole was born in New Orleans in 1937. He received a master's degree in English from Columbia University and taught at Hunter and the University of Southwestern Louisiana. In 1969, frustrated at his failure to interest a publisher in A Confederacy of Dunces, he committed suicide. Toole's book was eventually published, after his mother brought the work to the attention of Walker Percy and insisted that he read her son's manuscript. Percy became one of the novel's many admirers and The Confederacy of Dunces would eventually be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. Following that posthumous success, The Neon Bible, which Toole had written when he was sixteen, was first published in 1989.
Try and read a page and then try and put it down- I bet you can't!
When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.
"THOUGHTS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS, MORAL AND DIVERTING."
the book won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Today, there are over 1,500,000 copies in print worldwide in eighteen languages.
Confederacy of Dunces
This book is - well, the only book that we'll get to enjoy by John Kennedy Toole!
JO'Toole commited suicide- VERY sad- I personally think that this book is about himself!
And about publishing- His mother [ Thelma D. Toole] went to a University and asked *(&(* to publish her dead son's book- No, was the answer- many times over. She wouldn't take NO for an answer-
Finally, the professor said yes, and thought that he would read a few paragraphs and then put the book down, guilt free!
It turned out that he couldn't put it down, remarking that we had indeed lost a great writer-
This wildly inventive comic masterpiece exploded on the literary scene like a time bomb in 1980. The rest is publishing history. Critics and readers adored "A Confederacy of Dunces, " and the book went on to win the Pulitzer-
A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full oflarge ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once. Full, pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs. In the shadow under the green visor of the cap Ignatius J. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow yes looked down upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D.H.Holmes department store, studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress. Several of the outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be properly considered offenses against taste and decency. Possession of anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul.
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A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
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