His Trip To Nowhere

Apr 10, 2013


For the UALR English Department, this is J. Bradley Minnick with Facts About Fiction.

“Eventually in 1969 after a two month trip across America, he decided to take his own life, just off the gulf coast outside of Biloxi, Mississippi.”

That was Cory Maclauchlin talking about John Kennedy Toole, author of the posthumously awarded Pulitzer Prize winning novel Confederacy of Dunces.

While alive, Toole was fascinated by the edges of the country: New Orleans, LA, Georgia.

Here Are The Facts:

On January 19, 1968 after a particularly heated argument with his mother, Toole stormed out of her house in New Orleans, got in his car, and began his trip to nowhere. First, we think, to L.A. and Hearst’s Castle, then to Marilyn’s deathbed hotel, and finally to Midgeville, Georgia to visit Flannery O’Connor’s home.

When found in Biloxi, Mississippi, Toole’s pockets contained a movie ticket stub, some spare change and a suicide note that was never publically revealed.