What city is the setting of the first of two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays by the man who introduced us to Blanche and Brick?
A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel by American novelist John Kennedy Toole which reached publication in 1980, eleven years after Toole’s suicide. The book is famous for its rich depiction of New Orleans and the city’s dialects, including Yat. Many locals and writers think that it is the best and most accurate depiction of the city in a work of fiction. The city described in the novel differs in some ways from the actual New Orleans. A bronze statue of Ignatius J. Reilly can be found under the clock on the down-river side of the 800 block of Canal Street, New Orleans, the former site of the D.H. Holmes Department Store, now the Hyatt French Quarter Hotel. The statue is modeled on New Orleans actor John “Spud” McConnell, who portrayed Ignatius in a stage version of the novel. It earned Toole a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, and is now considered a canonical work of modern literature of the Southern United States.
New Orleans is a Louisiana city on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico. Nicknamed the “Big Easy,” it’s known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and spicy, singular cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. Embodying its festive spirit is Mardi Gras, the late-winter carnival famed for raucous costumed parades and street parties.