A highly respected American
author, Walker Percy was renowned for fiction that at once reflected
his thoughtful, intellectual positions coupled with a deep moral
sense. Born May 28, 1916, in Birmingham, Alabama, but as a teenager,
following his father's suicide and two years later, the death of
his mother in an automobile accident, he and his two brothers went
to live with their cousin William
Alexander Percy in Greenville, Mississippi. There, Walker
was intellectually stimulated by his cousin, himself a writer, and
their scholarly guests. He also made a lifelong friendship with
Shelby Foote, who would likewise turn to writing as an
adult. Walker enrolled in the University of North Carolina in 1934,
studying chemistry, and entered medical school at the Columbia College
of Physicians and Surgeons, from which he received his medical degree
in 1941. Working as a pathologist in New York, he contracted tuberculosis;
during three years of convalescence, he explored the humanistic
interests that he had been unable to pursue during his medical training
French and Russian literature, philosophy and psychology
ideas which would prove fit subjects in his fiction and nonfiction.
Percy died of cancer on May 10, 1990.
More to come!
- The Moviegoer. New York: Knopf, 1961, reprinted,
- The Last Gentleman. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1966;
reprinted, Avon, 1978.
- Love in the Ruins: The Adventures of a Bad Catholic at a
Time Near the End of the World. New York: Farrar, Straus,
1971; reprinted, Avon, 1978.
- Lancelot. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1977.
- The Second Coming. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1980.
- The Thanatos Syndrome. New York: Farrar, Straus,
- Selected Other Publications:
- Author of Introduction, Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections
of a Planter's Son, by William
Alexander Percy. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press,
- The Message in the Bottle: How Queer Man Is, How Queer Language
Is, and What One Has to Do with the Other. New York: Farrar,
- Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book. New
York: Farrar, Straus, 1983.
- Lawson, Lewis A., and Victor A. Kramer, eds. Conversations
with Walker Percy. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi,
- Novel-Writing in an Apocalyptic Time. New Orleans:
Faust Publishing Company, 1986.
- State of the Novel: Dying Art or New Science. New
Orleans: Faust Publishing Company, 1988.
- Samway, Patrick, ed. Signposts in a Strange Land.
New York: Farrar, Straus, 1991.
- Samway, Patrick, ed. A Thief of Peirce: The Letters of Kenneth
Laine Ketner and Walker Percy. Jackson: University Press
of Mississippi, 1995.
- Lawson, Lewis A., and Victor A. Kramer, eds. More Conversations
with Walker Percy Jackson: University Press of Mississippi,
- Tolson, Jay, ed. The Correspondence of Shelby Foote and
Walker Percy. New York: Center for Documentary Studies,
- Book Reviews and Critical Studies:
- Allen, William Rodney. Walker Percy: A Southern Wayfarer.
Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986.
- Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Views: Walker Percy.
New York: Chelsea House, 1986.
- Brinkmeyer, Robert H., Jr. Three Catholic Writers of the South.
Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985.
- Broughton, Panthea Reid, ed. The Art of Walker Percy: Stratagems
for Being. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979.
- Ciuba, Gary M. Walker Percy: Books of Revelation. Athens:
University of Georgia Press, 1991.
- Coles, Robert. Walker Percy: An American Search. Boston:
Little, Brown, 1978.
- Crowley, J. Donald, and Sue Mitchell Crowley, ed. Critical
Essays on Walker Percy. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1989.
- Desmond, John F. At the Crossroads: Ethical and Religious Themes
in the Writings of Walker Percy. The Whitson Publishing Company,
- Dupuy, Edward J. Autobiography in Walker Percy: Repetition,
Recovery, and Redemption. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University
- Futrell, Ann Mace. The Signs of Christianity in the Work of
Walker Percy. International Scholars, 1994.
- Gretlund, Jan Nordby, and Karl Heinz, eds. Walker Percy: Novelist
and Philosopher. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991.
- Hardy, John Edward. The Fiction of Walker Percy. Urbana:
University of Illinois Press, 1987.
- Hobson, Linda Whitney. Walker Percy: A Comprehensive Descriptive
Bibliography. New Orleans: Faust, 1988.
- ---. Understanding Walker Percy. Columbia: University of
South Carolina Press, 1988.
- Hoffman, Frederick J. The Art of Southern Fiction: A Study
of Some Modern Novelists. Southern Illinois University Press,
- Kramer, Victor, ed. Andrew Lytle, Walker Percy, Peter Taylor:
A Reference Guide. G. K. Hall, 1983.
- Lauder, Robert E. Walker Percy: Prophetic, Existentialist,
Catholic Storyteller. New York: Peter Lang, 1997.
- Lawson, Lewis A. Still Following Percy. Jackson: University
Press of Mississippi, 1995.
- ---, ed. Following Percy: Essays on Walker Percy's Work.
Troy: N.Y.: Whitson, 1987.
- ---. Still Following Percy. Jackson: University Press of
- ---, and Elzbieta Oleksy, eds. Walker Percy's Feminine Characters.
Troy, N.Y.: Whitston, 1995.
- Luschei, Martin. The Sovereign Wayfarer: Walker Percy's Diagnosis
of the Malaise. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press,
- Poteat, Patricia Lewis. Percy and the Old Modern Age. Baton
Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985.
- Quinlan, Kieran. Walker Percy: The Last Catholic Novelist.
Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.
- Samway, Patrick H. Walker Percy: A Life. New York: Farrar,
- Tanner, Tony. The Reign of Wonder: Naivety and Reality in American
Literature. Cambridge: The University Press, 1965.
- Taylor, L. Jerome. In Search of Self: Life, Death, and Walker
Percy. Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley, 1986.
- Tharpe, Jac, ed. Walker Percy: Art and Ethics. Jackson:
University Press of Mississippi, 1980.
- ---. Walker Percy. Boston: Twayne, 1983.
- Tolson, Jay. Pilgrim in the Ruins: A Life of Walker Percy.
Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 1994.
- ---. Walker Percy: The Making of an American Moralist.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990.
- Wright, Stuart. Walker Percy: A Bibliography: 1930-1984. Westport,
CT: Meckler, 1986.
- Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. The House of Percy: Honor, Melancholy,
and Imagination in a Southern Family. New York: Oxford University
- Internet Resources
- Scholarly Resources:
- The Walker Percy Project,
administered by Henry P. Mills, features a number of resources for
students and scholars interested in Walker Percy's writings.
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