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  The Moviegoer
(May 1998)
  The Correspondence of Shelby Foote and Walker Percy
(May 1998)
  The Last Gentleman
(January 1998)

Home:  >Browse Listings   >Authors   >Percy, Walker
Walker Percy
Walker Percy

Walker Percy

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, Avon, 1980.
  • 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, 1987.

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, 1974.

  • 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, Straus, 1975.
  • 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, 1985.
  • 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, 1993.
  • Tolson, Jay, ed. The Correspondence of Shelby Foote and Walker Percy. New York: Center for Documentary Studies, 1996.


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, 1997.
  • Dupuy, Edward J. Autobiography in Walker Percy: Repetition, Recovery, and Redemption. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.
  • 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, 1967
  • 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 Mississippi, 1996.
  • ---, 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, 1972.
  • 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, Straus, 1997.
  • 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 Press, 1994.

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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