John Kennedy Toole

John Kennedy Toole

in New Orleans, LA, The United States
December 17, 1937

March 26, 1969



John Kennedy Toole was an American novelist from New Orleans, Louisiana, best known for his novel A Confederacy of Dunces.

Toole's novels remained unpublished during his lifetime. Some years after his death by suicide, Toole's mother brought the manuscript of A Confederacy of Dunces to the attention of the novelist Walker Percy, who ushered the book into print. In 1981 Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Average rating: 3.88 · 184,565 ratings · 11,910 reviews · 2 distinct works · Similar authors
A Confederacy of Dunces

3.89 avg rating — 179,936 ratings — published 1980 — 127 editions
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The Neon Bible

3.68 avg rating — 4,621 ratings — published 1989 — 28 editions
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“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

“Apparently I lack some particular perversion which today's employer is seeking. ”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

“...I doubt very seriously whether anyone will hire me.'

What do you mean, babe? You a fine boy with a good education.'

Employers sense in me a denial of their values.' He rolled over onto his back. 'They fear me. I suspect that they can see that I am forced to function in a century I loathe. This was true even when I worked for the New Orleans Public Library.”
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces


May 2017 New School Classic Poll

  55 votes, 16.9%

  54 votes, 16.6%

My Ántonia by Willa Cather, 1918, 232
  39 votes, 12.0%

  29 votes, 8.9%

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, 1989, 288 pgs
  28 votes, 8.6%

  26 votes, 8.0%

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov, 1962, 246
  23 votes, 7.1%

  20 votes, 6.2%

  12 votes, 3.7%

  11 votes, 3.4%

  10 votes, 3.1%

Silence by Shūsaku Endō, 1966, 201
  10 votes, 3.1%

  4 votes, 1.2%

  4 votes, 1.2%


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