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Format:
Title:
A confederacy of dunces
ISBN:
9780807159613
Edition:
35th anniversary edition (Large print edition).
Publication:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
viii, 603 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
Toole's lunatic and sage novel introduces one of the most memorable characters in American literature, Ignatius Reilly, whom Walker Percy dubs "slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one." 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 presence-Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levi Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; Jones the jivecat in spaceage dark glasses.
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Summary

After more than three decades, the peerless wit and indulgent absurdity of A Confederacy of Dunces continues to attract new readers. Though the manuscript was rejected by many publishers during Toole's lifetime, his mother successfully published the book years after her son's suicide, and it won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. This literary underdog and comic masterpiece has sold more than two million copies in twenty-three languages.

The 35th anniversary edition of A Confederacy of Dunces celebrates Toole's novel as well as one of the most memorable protagonists in American literature, Ignatius J. Reilly, whom Walker Percy dubbed "slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one." Set in New Orleans with a wild cast of characters including Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levi Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; and Jones, the jivecat in space-age dark glasses, the novel serves as an outlandish but believable tribute to a city defined by its parade of eccentric denizens.

The genius of A Confederacy of Dunces is reaffirmed as successive generations embrace this extravagant satire. Adulation for Toole's comic epic remains as intense today as thirty-five years ago.


Author Notes

John Kennedy Toole was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 17, 1937. He received an undergraduate degree in English from Tulane University in 1958 and a master's degree in English literature from Columbia University in 1959. He started to pursue a doctorate at Columbia, but he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1961 before he was able to finish. He served for two years at Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico, teaching English to Spanish-speaking recruits.

He taught at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, Hunter College in Manhattan, and St. Mary's Dominican College. He wrote A Confederacy of Dunces and sent a copy to Simon and Schuster for publication, but it was rejected. His failure to get his novel published and his increasing frustration at living with and supporting his parents brought on a breakdown. He committed suicide on March 26, 1969 at the age of 31. A Confederacy of Dunces was finally published in 1980 and won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Neon Bible, which he wrote when he was sixteen years old, was published in 1989.

(Bowker Author Biography)