Crawfish, Crawdads, Gumbo and Writer Walker Percy

Crawfish in Louisiana
Crawfish in Louisiana:  The Collins Family digs into a typical crawfish feed in South Louisiana. Thanks, Cousin Denise, for sharing your photo.

I could go on and on about Walker Percy and existentialism, Catholicism, post-modern man, humanity in a new culture, and Southern writers, but let’s face it. Walker Percy, a brilliant thinker and writer, lived in Covington, Louisiana because he wanted to.  He liked his bourbon neat, mint juleps, beer and crawfish. Despite his brilliance, medical degree and powerful friends, he kinda’ sounds like a regular guy.

For a man who didn’t particularly like to be described as a “Southern writer,” almost every

Covington signpost

This marker stands in Covington, Louisiana, where Percy lived the last decades of his life.

Southern state stakes a claim to his fame. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama; spent his formative years in Athens, Georgia, and Greenville, Mississippi; enjoyed summers  in Brinkwood, Tennessee; atended college in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and lived, taught, and wrote in New Orleans and Covington, Louisiana.  And he helped found The Fellowship of Southern Writers in Chattanooga in 1987. Spending a week reading Walker Percy as one of my 52 American Writers has been thought-provoking and enjoyable. I wish I could have been part of his reading group in Covington or sat in on a class at Loyola.

Greenville writers

And in Greenville, Mississippi, there’s another marker. Walker’s cousin Will Percy, a noted poet and author, helped raise Walker and his brothers when both parents died.

This year Walker Percy, winner of the National Book Award,  author of six novels and two nonfiction books, and scores of articles and essays, would have celebrated his 100th birthday. Maybe, since he admitted a taste for crawfish, he might have celebrated with a heaping bowl of crawfish gumbo. I’m just not sure what he’d like mixed with it, if anything. He just might like his gumbo “neat” like his bourbon – well, without rice not ice.

AZ Walker Percy Art

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About thegumbodiaries

On the search for the perfect gumbo!
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One Response to Crawfish, Crawdads, Gumbo and Writer Walker Percy

  1. Pingback: Writer Shelby Foote: Cornbread, Gumbo & the Civil War | The Gumbo Diaries

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