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  • From: "Henry P. Mills III" <wppdirector AT>
  • To: "Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion" <percy-l AT>
  • Cc: info AT
  • Subject: [[percy-l] ] (REPOST) ANNOUNCING -- 2024 WALKER PERCY WEEKEND -- "Walker Percy and the Speculative South" (May 31 to June 1)
  • Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2024 18:17:53 -0400

Dear Percy-L Community:

Once again, it is that pleasant time of year when The Walker Percy Weekend will soon offer its many fine festivities on Percy in the charming small town of St. Francisville, La., located on the Mississippi River. Below, you will find overviews of its planned activities, this year's theme, and scheduled speakers. 

Please forward this announcement on to all others you know who may be interested in attending. Tickets may be limited. As always, do invite readers of all levels to join our Percy-L community for our frequent lively discussions, current Percy news, and announcements of new publications on Percy ("Join Percy-L" link follows immediately below).

Best wishes, and hope to see you at this year's festivities!
Henry P. Mills

Director, The Walker Percy Project
Project website:


Good food, craft beer and bourbon, live music, and a great time talking about books and Southern culture under the live oaks: That's what the ninth annual Walker Percy Weekend has to offer when it returns to celebrate the acclaimed novelist's life and work, May 31–June 1, 2024 (Fri.-Sat.) in St. Francisville, LA.

In the popular imagination, Southern fiction has readily been associated with the past. But what about depictions of the future? From iconic Walker Percy works such as Love in The Ruins and The Thanatos Syndrome, to contemporary Southern writers' portrayal of the speculative future, the ninth annual Walker Percy Weekend will consider where Southern fiction has been and where it is going.

Intellectually serious but broadly accessible, the 2024 festival invites fans of Southern literature to pursue appreciation of Percy’s thought and writing while attending presentations by renowned scholars, panel discussions, participatory book clubs, and spirited social and culinary events inspired by the author’s most famous works. Events take place at locations around St. Francisville’s historic district.

For tickets and additional information:
info AT

Area accommodations & attractions, please visit: 

(includes pictures)

Jennifer A. Frey
Dr. Jennifer A. Frey is the inaugural dean of the Honors College at the University of Tulsa, with a secondary appointment as professor of philosophy in the department of philosophy and religion. Her academic research centers around questions of agency and moral psychology, with a special focus on the nature of character of virtue and its relation to accounts of human well-being and flourishing. Dr. Frey frequently writes more popular essays and book reviews in places like Breaking Ground, First Things, Harper’s, Image, The Point, and the Wall Street Journal. She hosts a philosophy, theology, and literature podcast called Sacred and Profane Love.

Brian Giemza
Bryan Giemza is Associate Professor of Humanities and Literature in the Honors College at Texas Tech University. He has written multiple books and articles about Louisiana writers, history, and culture, including Images of Depression-Era Louisiana (2017) and a new edition of The Great Big Doorstep. His books include Science and Literature in Cormac McCarthy’s Expanding Worlds (Bloomsbury, June 2023), an edited essay collection on disinformation, and the forthcoming Across the Canyons (2024), and The God of Dark Matter (University of Notre Dame Press, 2025).

Richard Grant
Richard Grant is a magazine journalist and an author of non-fiction books. His last two books, Dispatches From Pluto and The Deepest South of All, were about Mississippi and both were New York Times bestsellers. His previous books include the adventure travel classic God’s Middle Finger and American Nomads, which was made into an acclaimed BBC documentary with Grant as the writer and host. Currently a regular contributor at Smithsonian magazine, Grant has published journalism in Esquire, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. Originally from London, England, he is now a U.S. citizen. After several years in a remote farmhouse in the Mississippi Delta, an experience chronicled in the multi-award-winning Dispatches From Pluto, Grant is now living in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife and eight-year-old daughter.

Olivia Clare Friedman
Olivia Clare Friedman is the author of three books: the novel Here Lies (Grove Atlantic), a short story collection titled Disasters in the First World (Black Cat/Grove Atlantic), and a book of poems titled The 26-Hour Day (New Issues). Her fourth book, An Arm Fixed to a Wing, a book of poems, is forthcoming from LSU Press in spring 2025. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The O. Henry Prize Stories, Granta, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, among other publications. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. She is an Associate Professor of English, Creative Writing, at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Brannon Costello
Brannon Costello is the James F. Cassidy Professor of English at Louisiana State University, where he teaches and writes about southern studies, comics studies, and the intersections of those fields. He is the author of Neon Visions: The Comics of Howard Chaykin (2017), which was awarded the Comics Studies Society's inaugural Charles Hatfield Prize for Best Scholarly Book, and Plantation Airs: Racial Paternalism and the Transformations of Class in Southern Fiction (2007). His other books include the edited collections Comics and the U.S. South(2012) and Conversations with Michael Chabon (2015), and he contributed a critical afterword to the 2013 reissue of Jack Butler’s lost southern classic Jujitsu for Christ (1986).

M. O. Walsh
M.O. Walsh is the author of the novels The Big Door Prize and My Sunshine Away, which was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Pat Conroy Award for Southern Fiction.  His first book, a story collection titled The Prospect of Magic, won the Tartt's First Fiction Prize. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, Southern Review, Garden and Gun, New York Times and others. His latest novel, The Big Door Prize, has been adapted for television by Emmy winning Writer/Producer David West Read (Schitt's Creek) and is now streaming on Apple TV+. He lives in New Orleans with his wife and family, where he directs the Creative Writing Workshop MFA program at the University of New Orleans.

*Announcement archived in the Percy-L discussion archives at:

  • [[percy-l] ] (REPOST) ANNOUNCING -- 2024 WALKER PERCY WEEKEND -- "Walker Percy and the Speculative South" (May 31 to June 1), Henry P. Mills III, 04/20/2024

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