The Life of John Kennedy Toole
A non fiction book by Deborah George Hardy and Rene Pol Nevils
This is a biography of the author of the phenomenally successful, Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Confederacy of Dunces". John Kennedy Toole is revealed to have been many things: a mollycoddled only child; an academic prodigy; a soul tortured by conflicting feelings for his mother and about his sexual identity; and a fun-loving master of mimicry. The authors recount the numerous hands his novel went through on its way to realization as a book, including those of Robert Gottlieb, Hodding Carter Jr, Walker Percy, Roger Strauss, and Les Phillabaum. Toole's mother Thelma is reflected in all her fascinating and irritating dysfunction, and receives due credit for bringing her son's novel to its enthusiastic readership, even as her contribution to his suicidal state of mind is pondered.
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May 2001 : USA Hardback