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The Neon Bible

The Neon Bible


Book Overview: The Neon Bible

John Kennedy Toole--who won a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his best-selling comic masterpiece A Confederacy of Dunces--wrote The Neon Bible for a literary contest at the age of sixteen. The manuscript languished in a drawer and became the subject of a legal battle among Toole's heirs. It was only in 1989, thirty-five years after it was written and twenty years after Toole's suicide at thirty-one, that this amazingly accomplished and evocative novel was freed for publication.

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PublisherGrove Press
Publication Date1994
Dimensionsin x in x in
Weight lbs
John Kennedy Toole was an American novelist from New Orleans, Louisiana, best known for his novel "A Confederacy of Dunces". Born on December 17, 1937, Toole's prodigious talent for writing was evident from an early age. He started his writing career with a focus on literature and even received a master's degree in English from Columbia University in 1959. His prowess as an academic also shone through in his roles as a professor at Hunter College and the University of Southwestern Louisiana. After his first novel, 'The Neon Bible', written at 16, didn't find a publisher, Toole began work on "A Confederacy of Dunces". The quixotic novel filled with colorful characters and laced with irony and insightful social critique failed to find a publisher despite his relentless efforts. Deeply disheartened by the constant rejections, he sadly committed suicide in 1969. Toole's posthumous rise to fame began in 1980 when his mother Thelma successfully presented his manuscript to the author Walker Percy, who then helped publish "A Confederacy of Dunces". The novel, celebrated for its vivid prose and spirited humor, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, solidifying his position among the pantheon of great authors. John Kennedy Toole, though his life was marked by tragedy, left behind a literary legacy anchored in his unique blend of humor, wit, and profound social commentary.


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