Panelist Patrick Samway, SJ, wrote Percy’s authorized biography. Here is an excerpt from Chapter One. And here is an excerpt from Robert Coles’s review in The New York Times:
By setting clear limits on his authorial role, by attempting to evoke through letters and interviews and a weighty factuality the various worlds Walker Percy inhabited, Father Samway brings his narrative to full life. We meet an American original: his voice at once skeptical and innocent, earnestly hopeful and yearning, but also cranky and gloomy — a worried, doubtful pilgrim who had an exquisitely inviting way with irony and a genuine modesty, even as he rarely missed taking the witty or mordantly satirical measure of our follies. Above all, as this portrait keeps revealing, he practiced what he preached, his own self-critical apprehensions in that regard notwithstanding — no small victory for a Christian moralist who also happened to be a lively storyteller. He (and his two brothers as well) broke free of the past; lived long, committed, loving lives as husbands, fathers and grandfathers — an achievement for them, for any of us.
You will get to meet Father Samway if you come to town. Get him to sign your copy of his book. Hear him tell stories about Walker and the faith.
Our second panelist is Dr. Phillip Thompson, executive director of the Aquinas Center for Theology at Emory University. He wrote us to say that Percy’s writing changed his life. We asked him to come talk about Percy and the faith. Given Dr. Thompson’s background in science, technology and religion, and given how much that interested Percy, I’m hoping he will get into that on the panel.
Look, you’ve just got to come to this event. First weekend of June (3-5). It’s so much fun. Here’s the Walker Percy Weekend website, on which you can buy tickets. Remember, we only have a limited number of tickets, and all the good B&Bs and hotel rooms will be sold out if you wait too long.