Walker Percy, from a 1980s interview in the Paris Review, in which the interviewer says Percy’s work reminds him most of Saul Bellow’s:
I take that kindly. I admire Barth, Pynchon, Heller, Vonnegut—you could also throw in Updike, Cheever, and Malamud—but perhaps Bellow most of all. He bears the same relationship to the streets of Chicago and upper Broadway—has inserted himself into them—the way I have in the Gentilly district of New Orleans or a country town in West Feliciana Parish in Louisiana.
I live in that country town in West Feliciana Parish in Louisiana. I am a writer — not a Walker Percy-level writer, God knows, but a published writer all the same. What a privilege. What a challenge.
What am I going to do with it? I wonder. I mean, I really do wonder.
Did you ever see Win Riley’s marvelous documentary portrait of Percy?