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.
Lancelot tells the story of the dejected lawyer Lancelot Lamar, who murders his wife after discovering that he is not the father of her youngest daughter, Siobhan. He ends up in a mental institution, where his story is told through his reflections and monologues on his disturbing past, thus having him serve as an unreliable narrator. The novel compares the protagonist unfavorably to his namesake, Sir Lancelot, as he experiences a vision of an empty and decadent modern American culture which invokes the symbolism of the mythical Wasteland. Lamar’s quest to expose this moral emptiness is a transposition of the quest for the Holy Grail; as he witnesses and records the increasing moral depravity of his wife and daughter during the filming of a Hollywood movie, he becomes obsessed with and corrupted by the immorality he seeks to condemn. (via Wikipedia)