This Sunday, May 28, marks the 101st birthday of novelist Walker Percy. In honor of the occasion, we offer this introductory reading guide to his work.
We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and we offer a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.
The Last Gentleman centers on the character of Williston Bibb Barret, a man born in the Mississippi Delta who has moved to New York City, where he lives at a YMCA and works as a night janitor. Will suffers from a “nervous condition,” which causes him to experience fits of déjà vu and amnesiac fugues. Early in the story, Will meets the Vaughts, a Southern family temporarily living in New York City so that their son, Jamie, can receive medical treatment there. Mr. Vaught invites Will to return to the South with his family and serve as Jamie’s caretaker. The novel focuses on the relationship between Will and the Vaughts, and on Will’s continuing search for his own identity. (via Wikipedia)