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Summary Article: Percy, Walker
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US writer. Starting with his first and best-known work, The Moviegoer (1961), he published several novels characterized by his conservative disillusionment with contemporary US life and values. A philosophic-intellectual man, he collected his essays on language in The Message in the Bottle (1975).

He was born in Birmingham, Alabama. After the suicide of his father (1929) and death of his mother (1931), he and his brothers and sisters were adopted by their father's cousin, William Percy, who lived in Greenville, Mississippi. Walker studied at the University of North Carolina (A 1937), and Columbia University (MD 1941). He worked as a pathologist in New York City, contracted tuberculosis, and spent three years in a sanatorium. He returned to Columbia to teach pathology (1944), suffered a relapse, and left medicine and New York City. He married (1946), converted to Catholicism (1947), and settled in Covington, Louisiana, to write.

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