Signposts in a Strange Land Essays

ISBN-10: 0312254199

ISBN-13: 9780312254193

Edition: 2000 (Revised)

Authors: Walker Percy, Patrick Samway

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At his death in 1990, Walker Percy left a considerable legacy of uncollected nonfiction. Assembled in Signposts in a Strange Land, these essays on language, literature, philosophy, religion, psychiatry, morality, and life and letters in the South display the imaginative versatility of an author considered by many to be one the greatest modern American writers.
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Book details

List price: $19.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 4/1/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 448
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Walker Percy, born in Alabama, raised in Mississippi, and a former resident of Louisiana, was a member of a prominent Southern family who lost his parents at an early age and grew up as the foster son of his father's cousin. Percy graduated from the University of North Carolina and received his M.D. from Columbia, but was a nonpracticing physician who devoted much of his life to his writing. Percy's witty and provocative first novel, The Moviegoer (1961), won the 1962 National Book Award, but Charles Poore considers The Last Gentleman (1966) "an even better book." Love in the Ruins (1971) marks a sharp change in method and subject from the first two novels. A doomsday story set "at the end of the Auto Age," it exposes many foibles and abuses in contemporary life through sharp satire and extravagant fantasy. Whereas Love in the Ruins is funny, Percy's next novel, Lancelot (1977) is the rather bleak and pessimistic story of a deranged man who blows up his home when he finds proof of his wife's infidelities and then tells his story in an asylum for the mentally disturbed. Its apocalyptic vision is expressed in a more positive and affirmative way in The Second Coming (1980), which takes its title from the fact that it resurrects the character of Will Barret from The Last Gentleman and locates him, a quarter-century older, finding love and meaning in a cave.

Life in the South
Why I Live Where I Live
New Orleans Mon Amour
The City of the Dead
Going Back to Georgia
Mississippi: The Fallen Paradise
Uncle Will
Uncle Will's House
A Better Louisiana
The American War
Red, White, and Blue-Gray
Stoicism in the South
A Southern View
The Southern Moderate
Science, Language, Literature
Is a Theory of Man Possible?
Naming and Being
The State of the Novel: Dying Art or New Science?
Novel-Writing in an Apocalyptic Time
How to Be an American Novelist in Spite of Being Southern and Catholic
From Facts to Fiction
Physician as Novelist
Herman Melville
Diagnosing the Modern Malaise
Eudora Welty in Jackson
Foreword to A Confederacy of Dunces
Rediscovering A Canticle for Leibowitz
The Movie Magazine: A Low "Slick"
Accepting the National Book Award for The Moviegoer
Concerning Love in the Ruins
The Coming Crisis in Psychiatry
The Culture Critics
The Fateful Rift: The San Andreas Fault in the Modern Mind
Morality and Religion
Culture, the Church, and Evangelization
Why Are You a Catholic?
A "Cranky Novelist" Reflects on the Church
The Failure and the Hope
A View of Abortion, with Something to Offend Everybody
Foreword to The New Catholics
If I Had Five Minutes with the Pope
An Unpublished Letter to the Times
Another Message in the Bottle
The Holiness of the Ordinary
Epilogue. An Interview and a Self-Interview
An Interview with Zoltan Abadi-Nagy
Questions They Never Asked Me
Bibliography and Notes
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