“A moving evocation of the small-town South in the mid-twentieth century” that “belongs on the shelf with the works of Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Eudora Welty” (Orlando Sentinel).
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.
“Heartfelt emotion, communicated in clean direct prose . . . a remarkable achievement.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“John Kennedy Toole’s tender, nostalgic side is as brilliantly effective as his corrosive satire. If you liked To Kill A Mockingbird you will love The Neon Bible.” —Florence King
“Shockingly mature. . . . Even at sixteen, Toole knew that the way to write about complex emotions is to express them simply.” —Kerry Luft, Chicago Tribune