Synopses & Reviews
Released by Louisiana State University Press in 1980, A Confederacy of Dunces is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon. Rejected by countless publishers and submitted by the author's mother years after his suicide, the book won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Today there are almost two million copies in print worldwide in eighteen languages. Now, for the first time, John Kennedy Toole's comic masterpiece is available in a large print edition. Toole's lunatic and sage novel introduces one of the most memorable characters in American literature, Ignatius Reilly, whom Walker Percy dubs "slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one." Set in New Orleans, A confederacy of Dunces outswifts Swift, one of whose essays gives the book its title. As its characters burst into life, they leave the region and literature forever changed by their presence-Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levi Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; Jones the jivecat in spaceage dark glasses. Included here is the introduction that writer and New Orleans resident Andrei Codrescu composed for the book's twentieth anniversary. Set in oversized type for ease in reading, the large print edition will gratify both first-timers seeking to discover this modern-day classic and longtime afficionados wishing to reread a favorite novel.
Ignatius J. Reilly of New Orleans, --selfish, domineering, deluded, tragic and larger than life-- is a noble crusader against a world of dunces. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. In magnificent revolt against the twentieth century, Ignatius propels his monstrous bulk among the flesh posts of the fallen city, documenting life on his Big Chief tablets as he goes, until his maroon-haired mother decrees that Ignatius must work.