[percy-l] Book Reviews: "Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence" & "Reading Walker Percy's Novels, " by Jessica Hooten Wilson

Henry P. Mills wppdirector at gmail.com
Mon Mar 18 00:19:44 EDT 2019

Dear Percy-L:

We have list member Leslie Marsh of The University of British Columbia to thank for calling our attention to a recent review he wrote of two Percy books by Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson. Dr. Wilson is an associate professor of literature at John Brown University and has been a frequent speaker at The Walker Percy Weekend in St. Francisville, La. 

Marsh reviews her two book-length studies entitled Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence (2017) and Reading Walker Percy's Novels (2018).  The review is published in Southern Literary Review: A Magazine for Literature of the American South (March 7, 2019). 

Below, you will find the introductory paragraph to the review and a link to the complete review.

Thank you, Leslie, for providing the Percy-L community with your insightful commentary on these two recent and broadening inquiries into Percy's writings and thought.

All best,
Henry Mills
Percy-L Administrator

Southern Literary Review: A Magazine for Literature of the American South

Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and The Search For Influence & Reading Walker Percy's Novels, by Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson


"Jessica Hooten Wilson's stated ambition is no less than 'to revitalize influence studies, especially as they relate to our religious assumptions about aesthetics.' On current form, she may well be the one to achieve this. Hooten Wilson's two books are dealt with in tandem not only because they have appeared in quick succession, but because there is inevitable overlap of interest, although they are each of a different character. The first book, more academically specialized, examines one of the primary influences on Percy, namely Dostoevsky, while the second is pitched at a general readership. The chapters in both books helpfully correspond sequentially to Percy's six novels….Moreover, the first book features a preliminary chapter on Percy's two unpublished novels, The Charterhouse and The Gramercy Winner, while the second includes a biographical overview and an appendix on the non-fiction Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book (1983)...."

Continue reading here:

Publications Information:
Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence
Ohio State University Press (October 2017, 200 pps.)

Reading Walker Percy's Novels
LSU Press (May 2018, 168 pps.)

You may purchase either book here to support the volunteer efforts of The Walker Percy Project:

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