Ken and Thelma: The Story of a Confederacy of Dunces
"Ken has a real gift for mimicry and a refined sense of the absurd . . . the English faculty . . .both fear and court Ken because of his biting comic talent." --from Joel L. Fletcher's journal John Kennedy Toole's first published novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, which Walker Percy called a"gargantuan tumultuous human tragi-comedy," became a publishing phenomenon, with almos...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by Pelican Publishing Company
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I appreciate this honest, yet discreet, memoir. The author boldly confronts all of the most controversial topics related to Confederacy — Toole's suicide, his questionable sexuality, his infamously overbearing mother, the editor that encouraged and then rejected the novel, the missing revisions, the apparent curse against making a film version, the badly botched biography — with a voice full of humor and compassion. It is obvious that his affection for Toole was sincere, and his motives for publ...more
Thelma was quite a gal and instrumental in getting Ken's Pulitzer Prize winner published. I especially liked this book because I knew so many of the people involved, including our landlord on 8th Street, John Geiser and Walker and Bunt Percy. Thelma was a true new Orleanian, and I think that's a good thing.
A beautiful memoir that gives an honest portrait of A Confederacy of Dunces' author John Kennedy Toole and his dynamo mother whose dedication led to the publication of the 1981 Pultizer Prize. Fletcher loves his subjects but also is able to offer an objective assessment. I highly recommend this book.