The UL Lafayette Foundation recently paid $31,000 for a manuscript of John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy of Dunces” and some photos of Toole, who committed suicide in 1969 before his comic novel could find a publisher. Toole taught at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette from 1959 to 1960.
We hope that the acquisition of these Toole materials helps renew attention for the biggest treasure that Toole left us — the book itself. “Confederacy of Dunces” is a wonderful farce set in 1960s New Orleans. LSU Press published the book at the urging of Covington novelist Walker Percy in 1980. How fortunate that Percy agreed to read the late Toole’s manuscript after being nagged into doing so by Toole’s mother. Percy quickly became a fan of the story.
If you haven’t ever read it, add “A Confederacy of Dunces” to your summer reading list. But be prepared to laugh until your sides hurt.