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Walker Percy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dr. Tom More Books

Love in the Ruins (1971)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Thanatos Syndrome (1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Will Barrett Books

The Last Gentleman (1966)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Second Coming (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Moviegoer (1961)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lancelot (1977)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Diagnosing the Modern Malaise (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Message in the Bottle (1975)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lost in the Cosmos (1983)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Conversations with Walker Percy (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
State of the Novel (1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Signposts in a Strange Land (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
More Conversations with Walker Percy (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Symbol and Existence (With: ) (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

About Walker Percy

The American author Walker Percy was world renowned during his lifetime, with a whole host of books to his name. Speaking on a range of different subjects, he was a gifted writer with a lot to say, becoming one of the most prominent voices of the twentieth century. Often writing upon themes of alienation, and how it affected those living within modern society at the time, he definitely had a lot to say. The success of his work was testament to his skill as an author as well, producing a number of bestselling titles over the years.

As a leading proponent of Southern literature for the time, the writing of Percy would really speak for itself. Leaping from the page, many of his characters were also to make a strong impact on readers from around the world, leaving an impression upon them long after they’d put the book down. His poetic style would flow seemingly effortlessly across the page, keeping the reader hooked to each and every one of his words. He would also write non-fiction too, writing in an extremely informative and straightforward manner that immediately got to the point.

Over the entire course of his literary career he would produce six bestselling works of fiction that would reach scores of readers worldwide. Many of his books would become hallmarks of American literature in time, with them reaching a mass-market while also relating some deeper themes and ideas. Receiving awards for his work, he would gain lots of critical acclaim too, with his book ‘The Moviegoer’ being seen as a masterpiece by many. With his literary legacy continuing to live on, many will continue to discover the work of Walker Percy for many years to come.

Early and Personal Life

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, on28th of May in 1916, Walker Percy would grow up with a keen fascination in both reading and writing. This would continue to develop over time, as he would come from a family consisting of fellow writers, poets, and senators. His brother the writer William Percy would introduce him to a wide-range of authors over the years, allowing Walker to find his own distinct voice.

Attending Greenville High School before heading on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he would graduate with a BA in 1937. During his lifetime he would also befriend the fellow writer Shelby Foote, as the three of them, along with his brother William, would become lifelong friends. Continuing to write until his passing in 1990 on the 10th of May, he would lead a successful literary career throughout his life that lives on to this day.

Writing Career

At the beginning of his literary career, Walker Percy would contribute pieces to ‘The Carolina Magazine,’ which he did during his time at Chapel Hill. This would see him rise to prominence writing pieces that would come to heavily shape his future writing career both in style and tone. His experiences during this time would also come to inform a greater part of his first novel ‘The Moviegoer’ released in 1961.

After publishing his first book he would go on to release his following novel in 1967 which would also be the first in his two part ‘Will Barrett’ series. He’d also release ‘Love in the Ruins’ in 1971 which would later have the sequel ‘The Thanatos Syndrome’ in 1987 making up the ‘Dr. Tom More’ series as well. Publishing a number of non-fiction books and essays too, he would win numerous awards, including the ‘National Book Award for Fiction’ in 1962 for his debut novel.

The Moviegoer

Published through the ‘Vintage Books USA’ publishing label, this would first come out back in 1961, it being the debut release from Walker Percy. Setting up his literary career, it would see him establish a name of himself as a fiction writer with something of his own to say. Not a part of any series, it would be a self-contained story of existentialism, looking at malaise in modern American society at the time.

A young and detached stockbroker from New Orleans, Binx Bolling yearns for a life beyond his being a dandy on Bourbon Street. Facing his thirtieth birthday, he spends time with secretaries trying to escape from it all in brief encounters, giving him respite from his real-life. That’s when during one Mardi Gras he embarks on an ill-advised quest through the New Orleans’ French Quarter, angering his family, and almost endangering Kate, his fragile cousin. Heading off on a journey, he finds his world turned upside down, as the book looks at modern life in this American classic.

Very much a story of its time, there are plenty of strong themes and ideas that remain true to this very day. Featuring a strong message running throughout, the ideas of alienation and malaise are prevalent throughout every step of the way. These ideas would come to be recurring for Percy as a writer, making this book must for fans of the author wanting to learn more on his life and work.

Lancelot

First brought out back in 1977, this would be the second book from Walker Percy, with it being later published through the ‘Picador USA’ imprint. Setting up the second self-contained fictional story, it’s a well plotted journey into a modern mindset for the time. The leading protagonist is that of Lancelot Lamar, as the story focuses on him, his predicament, and his subsequent journey. With many of the ideas again being familiar to followers of Percy’s work, this uses a modern interpretation of Lancelot the knight.

Confined to an asylum, Lancelot Lamar is an otherwise disenchanted lawyer who’s committed with memories that seem worthless on the surface. This all began after discovering that he was not in fact father to his younger daughter, as he’s sent on a quest to attempt to turn around modern American degeneration. Revealing a shining knight for the modern age, Lancelot becomes a beacon of revenge, as opposed to hope and romance. Snapping out of the ‘modern malaise’ of the American man, Lamar deals with a new kind of truth from his newfound confines.

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