Justice for John Kennedy Toole
I've been a fan of the work of John Kennedy Toole for many years. His novel A Confederacy of Dunces is now recognized as a classic. In fact, the novelist Anthony Burgess (who wrote A Clockwork Orange) wrote that Dunces was one of the best novels of the twentieth century. In 1981 Dunces won a Pulitzer Prize for John Kennedy Toole--but the award came too late. He had committed suicide in 1969 in Mississippi, his suicide brought about in part by the rejection of his novel by Simon & Schuster. Neither the major New York City book publishers nor Hollywood nor the academic media have been kind to John Kennedy Toole. As Joel Fletcher writes in his memoir Ken & Thelma, Hollywood did its best to exploit not only the work of John Kennedy Toole but his good name. In February 2017 several Hollywood trades announced that a biopic about John Kennedy Toole was scheduled for production. Given that many people (but not Toole's surviving family) have profited from the work of John Kennedy Toole, I ask the makers, director, and actors of this film to donate at least 25% of their gross earnings (salaries and profits) to the surviving members of John Kennedy Toole's family. And if these people are not around to accept the money, or if they refuse to accept the money, then I ask that this 25% be donated to a worthy charity, like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.