Walker Percy

Walker Percy

Franklin Library Walker Percy books

The Second Coming - limited first edition (not signed) - 1980
The Moviegoer - signed limited edition - 1980
Thanatos Syndrome - signed first edition - 1987

Author Walker Percy

Walker Percy, born on May 28, 1916, in Birmingham, Alabama, was an American author and philosopher whose insightful explorations of the human condition earned him critical acclaim and a devoted readership. Raised in a family of Southern intellectuals, Percy's early life was marked by tragedy and displacement. At the age of 14, Percy's father committed suicide, an event that profoundly impacted him and would later influence much of his writing. Despite this tragedy, Percy persevered, attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied literature and philosophy. After completing his undergraduate studies, Percy went on to earn a medical degree from Columbia University. However, his plans for a career in medicine were derailed when he contracted tuberculosis, which forced him to spend several years in a sanatorium.

During his convalescence, Percy turned to writing as a form of therapy and self-expression. Drawing on his experiences of illness, loss, and existential uncertainty, he began to craft stories that explored themes of alienation, identity, and the search for meaning in a chaotic world. In 1961, Percy published his debut novel, The Moviegoer, which won the National Book Award for Fiction and catapulted him to literary fame. The novel, set in New Orleans and narrated by a disillusioned young man named Binx Bolling, explores the ennui of modern life and the existential quest for authenticity and connection.

Over the course of his career, Percy continued to write novels, essays, and works of nonfiction that grappled with the complexities of the human condition. His writing was characterized by its philosophical depth, keen psychological insight, and darkly humorous wit. Percy's other notable works include Love in the Ruins, Lancelot and The Thanatos Syndrome, all of which explore themes of moral ambiguity, spiritual longing, and the tension between individual freedom and societal constraints.

In addition to his literary pursuits, Percy was also a dedicated philosopher who engaged deeply with questions of ethics, metaphysics, and the nature of consciousness. His philosophical writings, which draw on existentialism, phenomenology, and semiotics, continue to provoke thought and inspire debate among scholars and readers alike. Walker Percy passed away on May 10, 1990, leaving behind a rich legacy of thought-provoking literature and philosophical inquiry. His profound insights into the human condition continue to resonate with readers around the world, offering solace, wisdom, and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

The Second Coming

Walker Percy signed

The Thanatos Syndrome

Franklin Library editor notes

The Moviegoer

Franklin Library Walker Percy

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