Category Archives: dominican college

Obama and daughters at my local bookstore

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Yesterday President Obama and his daughters stopped by my local independent bookstore One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. They bought some children’s books and, in doing so, supported a small business that serves as a beacon for readers in the DC metro area to engage with writers and the written word.  They regularly host author talks and themed literary events.  And they are the only store I know where you can pick up your next read, some decadent chocolates and fine wine.   

The folks at One More Page have helped my readers as well. On several occasions over the past year sellers at my talks at book festivals have sold out.  I had no complaints about that, but I did feel bad for the readers unable to get a signed copy of Butterfly in the Typewriter that day. Fortunately, I was able to refer them to One More Page and we got inscribed copies delivered to their homes. On one occasion it was for a former student of John Kennedy Toole.

This is the kind of service that most independent booksellers can offer and why I think it is important to support them.  Like many authors, I am always happy to stop by my bookstore to sign or inscribe some books.  After all, reading is more than consumption of a product.   At its best it creates a connection between reader and author.  The more personal I can make that connection, the better. 

Of course, I am grateful for all the bookstores that have welcomed me this year, from New Orleans to Richmond.  But I am especially happy for One More Page to get this much deserved recognition.

Read about the Obamas’ visit to One More Page here.

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Filed under a confederacy of dunces, dominican college, john kennedy toole, toole biography

Just in from New Orleans


I have just returned from New Orleans. It was my last research trip before I complete the manuscript and send it off to the publisher. There were many wonderful events that happened this past week.

On Monday I had lunch with the Dominican Sisters that once ran Dominican College (pictured above) where Toole taught the last few years of his life. Thanks to Karen at Loyola for giving me a tour of the old college and for the special access to the cupola–offering a rare view of New Orleans.

I recovered some great material at University of Lousiana at Lafayette and his old high school, dove back into the Toole papers at Tulane one last time and met with one of his previous students.

But the highlight of the trip was meeting the sister of Toole’s best friend. She has so many lovely stories of Toole that speak to his lively personality and his development as a writer. Best of all, we got her to sit for a recorded interview that will be added to the film.

Many thanks to all of the wonderful people in Louisiana that have welcomed me and supported my research. I expect the next time I am down there will be to promote the book after publication

I will begin reading the manuscript through “cover to cover,” as it is intended, by the end of this week.

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Filed under dominican college, john kennedy toole biography, toole biography