WorldCat Identities

Tolson, Jay

Works: 14 works in 42 publications in 1 language and 2,215 library holdings
Genres: Biographies  Biography  Personal correspondence  Records and correspondence  Criticism, interpretation, etc  Biographical films  Documentary films  Nonfiction films  History 
Roles: Author, Editor, Other
Classifications: PS3566.E6912, 813.54
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works about Jay Tolson
Most widely held works by Jay Tolson
Pilgrim in the ruins : a life of Walker Percy by Jay Tolson( Book )

18 editions published between 1992 and 2007 in English and Undetermined and held by 1,151 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

When The Moviegoer, an extraordinary first novel by an unknown Louisiana author, won the National Book Award in 1962, it marked the arrival of an exceptional literary talent. With his five successive novels and his wide-ranging philosophical and occasional essays, Walker Percy shored up his reputation as one of America's greatest writers - an ironic moralist and perhaps the shrewdest chronicler of life in the New South. Yet even by the time of his death in 1990, little was known about this intensely private man. Based on extensive interviews, written with access to Percy's letters and manuscripts, Jay Tolson has fashioned the first major biography of the writer, an authoritative portrait that brings Percy alive as it illuminates his distinguished body of work. We see Percy's life and his brilliant career against the background of the American South, whose colorful and tragic history is rooted deeply in the hearts and minds of its most talented sons and daughters. With a novelist's eye for character and the judgment of an informed critic, Tolson captures the lifelong drama of genius, always attentive to its artistic, psychological and spiritual dimensions. Percy was the scion of a proud, honorable and accomplished family, a clan haunted by a crippling streak of melancholy that issued repeatedly in suicides, including the self-inflicted deaths of Walker Percy's father and grandfather. Tolson depicts the struggle of Percy's life and the heroism with which he battled his family demons (and his own tubercular condition) and worked his way toward a writing career. Here is the young Percy in the days after his father's death, traveling with his brother and his mother (who would soon die herself, in mysterious circumstances) from his childhood home of Birmingham, Alabama, to Athens, Georgia, and then on to Greenville, Mississippi, and the sprawling house of his Uncle Will. Adopted at 16 by this remarkable "bachelor-poet-lawyer-planter," the most important single influence on the future author's life, Percy came to maturity in what he later described as an "all-male household visited regularly by other poets, politicians, psychiatrists, sociologists, black preachers, folk singers, Civil Rights leaders and itinerant guitar players." We follow Percy as he travels north to New York, where he attended medical school and - with the help of a psychiatrist - began to make sense of his complex family legacy. Tolson details Percy's movement toward the Catholic Church, his first struggles as a writer, his early involvement with the publishing world, the steady support of his friend and fellow writer Shelby Foote, and a demanding apprenticeship under the supervision of the gifted novelist Caroline Gordon and her husband, the late Allen Tate. Percy emerged an altogether distinctive writer: a Catholic artist who, like Flannery O'Connor, worked in a predominantly Protestant culture; an heir to the literary traditions of the Southern Renaissance who adopted the strategies of modern European fiction and philosophy to forge his own narrative art. Tolson guides us through the creation of both the unpublished and published novels - from The Charterhouse through The Thanatos Syndrome - as well as the philosophical works that underlie and complement Percy's fiction. The biographer shows us how the demands of his work were eased by rich friendships, including those with fellow writers Thomas Merton, Eudora Welty and Robert Coles. We learn also about a marriage of abiding strength, and of the love and care that Percy and his wife Bunt gave to the raising of their two daughters, one of them all but deaf from birth. Above all, we see the man in all his shifting moods, "the gracious, easy, almost avuncular manner straining against a powerful, furious intensity, an almost furious energy." Here is the dark tragedy, the humor, and the hard-earned wisdom of a life whose outward calm concealed an internal drama - an unrelenting fight against hopelessness and despair. Percy's story is that of a writer and moralist who made enduring art out of his search for truth
The correspondence of Shelby Foote & Walker Percy by Shelby Foote( Book )

12 editions published between 1996 and 1998 in English and held by 818 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the late 1940s, Walker Percy and Shelby Foote, friends since their teenage years in Greenville, Mississippi, began a correspondence that would last until Percy's death in 1990. Their letters provide a rich record of an enduring literary and personal friendship. Walker Percy, winner of the National Book Award, wrote six novels, two volumes of philosophical writings, and numerous essays on topics ranging from the aesthetics of bourbon drinking to race and integration in the South. Described variously as a Catholic novelist and philosophical writer, he was above all a gifted comic moralist, a writer of wit, and a keen observer of manners and mores. Shelby Foote began his career as a novelist, producing in short order five works of fiction that were greeted by favorable reviews and modest sales. Foote's reputation rests far less upon his fiction, however, than upon a massive three-volume narrative history of the Civil War that he started, almost on a lark, in the early 1950s and completed in 1974. In more recent years, Foote gained an even larger following as a result of his role as a commentator in Ken Burns's documentary The Civil War. The correspondence between Percy and Foote traces their lives from the beginning of their respective careers, when they were grappling most openly with their ambitions, artistic doubts, and assorted personal problems. Although they discuss such serious matters as the death of Foote's mother and Percy's battle with cancer, their letters are full of sly humor, good-natured ribbing, and a large dose of self-mockery
Walker Percy's the Moviegoer at fifty : new takes on an iconic American novel by Jennifer Levasseur( Book )

1 edition published in 2016 in English and held by 135 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Walker Percy : a documentary film( Visual )

1 edition published in 2010 in English and held by 77 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This film follows Percy's life from his youth in Alabama, where he was first confromted by his family's history of depression, his prolonged hospitalizations for tuberculosis, and his eventual success as a novelist. Interviewees discuss Walker's thoughts on faith, philosophy, and literature."--The container
Religion, culture, and international conflict : a conversation by Michael Cromartie( )

1 edition published in 2005 in English and held by 25 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A growing international recognition and concern about the consequences of religious faith and its relationship to public policy is a centerpiece of daily discourse and global media coverage. This timely and important book presents a series of conversations steeped in a diversity of viewpoints about the nature, role, and impact of religiously grounded moral arguments. This book is published in cooperation with the Ethics and Public Policy Center
What's after modern by Jay Tolson( )

in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Big think industry mines the millenium by Jay Tolson( )

in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Return of the bard by Jay Tolson( )

in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Andrew Kimbrell, on the bioethical issues discussed in "The Human Body Shop" ... by Andrew Kimbrell( Recording )

1 edition published in 1993 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Can the quietest war be brought to an end? by Jay Tolson( )

in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Vocabulary of evil by Jay Tolson( )

in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Mars Hill audio journal : May/June 1993( Recording )

1 edition published in 1993 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Islam: a primer : a conversation with Roy Mottahedeh and Jay Tolson( )

1 edition published in 2002 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this pamphlet, a Harvard professor of Islamic history explains the history of Islamic theology, how Muslims have traditionally thought of divergence within their faith, and how modern militant Muslims disagree with these views
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Audience level: 0.29 (from 0.21 for Percy-Roma ... to 1.00 for Islam: a p ...)

Pilgrim in the ruins : a life of Walker Percy
The correspondence of Shelby Foote & Walker Percy
English (41)