Winner of the 1961 National Book Award
The dazzling novel that established Walker Percy as one of the major voices in Southern literature is now available for the first time in Vintage paperback.
Will Barrett (also the hero of Percy's The Last Gentleman) is a lonely widower suffering from a depression so severe that he decides he doesn't want to continue living. But then he meets Allison, a mental hospital escapee making a new life for herself in a greenhouse.
Dr. Tom More has created a stethoscope of the human spirit. With it, he embarks on an unforgettable odyssey to cure mankind's spiritual flu. This novel confronts both the value of life and its susceptibility to chance and ruin.
Returning home to the small Louisiana parish where he had praticed psychiatry, Dr. Tom More quickly notices something strange occuring with the townfolk, a loss of inhibitions. Behind this mystery is a dangerous plot drug the local water supply, and a discovery that takes More into the underside of the American search for happiness.
Lancelot Lamar is a disenchanted lawyer who finds himself confined in a mental asylum with memories that don't seem worth remembering. It all began the day he accidentally discovered he was not the father of his youngest daughter, a discovery which sent Lancelot on modern quest to reverse the degeneration of America.
Will Barrett is a 25-year-old wanderer from the South living in New York City, detached from his roots and with no plans for the future, until the purchase of a telescope sets off a romance and changes his life forever.