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Publisher's Summary

The saga of John Kennedy Toole is one of the greatest stories of American literary history. After writing A Confederacy of Dunces, Toole corresponded with Robert Gottlieb of Simon & Schuster for two years. Exhausted from Gottlieb’s suggested revisions, Toole declared the publication of the manuscript hopeless and stored it in a box. Years later he suffered a mental breakdown, took a two-month journey across the United States, and finally committed suicide on an inconspicuous road outside of Biloxi. Following the funeral, Toole’s mother discovered the manuscript. After many rejections, she cornered Walker Percy, who found it a brilliant novel and spearheaded its publication. In 1981, 12 years after the author’s death, A Confederacy of Dunces won the Pulitzer Prize.

In Butterfly in the Typewriter, Cory MacLauchlin draws on scores of new interviews with friends, family, and colleagues as well as full access to the extensive Toole archive at Tulane University, capturing his upbringing in New Orleans, his years in New York City, his frenzy of writing in Puerto Rico, his return to his beloved city, and his descent into paranoia and depression.

©2012 Cory MacLauchlin (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth it! Good biography. Informative.

Any additional comments?

Good biography. Informative. Not terribly exciting but not bad either. Great research. Necessary if you enjoy the original book or author's life. I live in New Orleans where the original book and life takes place. It's accurate and I had no issues as a French Quarter native.

I go to New York a lot, know art and students, and can relate to the people and life described... the biography is real and well done.

Don't expect literary miracles from the biography, its just a good bio.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Really informative and enjoyable

I learned so much about JKT, one of my favorite writers. Highly recommend this to anyone who finished Confederacy and were left craving more.

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  • Caroline smith
  • 02-28-16

good storey

very interesting if you are going to read a confederacy of dunces which isn't unfortunately on audible yet.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Joshua S McMahon
  • 09-30-17

an example of why fans shouldnt wrote biography

excellently read. however this is a biography more interested in defending toole from criticism and possibly reality than in any notion of truth or unfortunately self respect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful