Butterfly in the Typewriter by Cory MacLauchlin
The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces

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Synopsis

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, twelve 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.

 

 

About Cory MacLauchlin

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Cory MacLauchlin is a producer, biographer, and member of the English Faculty at Germanna Community College. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife and son.
 
Published March 27, 2012 by Da Capo Press. 354 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Butterfly in the Typewriter

New York Journal of Books

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“The sad ironies are, of course, that John Kennedy Toole’s death by his own hand offered his mother the tool that she needed to wedge open the doors to the publishing industry. And the book that everyone rejected ultimately because a classic. And that even in his own biography, John Kennedy Toole...

Mar 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Butterfly in the Typewriter: ...

The Washington Times

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In the introduction to his exhaustive biography of New Orleans literary legend and posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner John Kennedy Toole, Cory MacLauchlin considers the question of whether John Kennedy Toole is a modernist or a Southern writer.

Jun 08 2012 | Read Full Review of Butterfly in the Typewriter: ...

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