Jackson, Mississippi — October 18, 2019 — Two Mississippi Writers Trail markers were unveiled Friday in Greenville during the Literary/Culinary Mash-Up luncheon held in conjunction with the annual Delta Hot Tamale Festival. Honorees were authors Shelby Foote and Walker Percy.
Both markers are located in front of the E.E. Bass Cultural Center at 323 S Main St.
Shelby Foote was born November 17, 1916, in Greenville. A childhood friend of Mississippi novelist Walker Percy, he began his early career as an author publishing five works of fiction. Foote, however, will forever be remembered as a historian. His three-volume study “The Civil War: A Narrative” (1958, 1963, 1974) made him a foremost authority on the subject. Foote died June 27, 2005, in Memphis.
Walker Percy was born in Birmingham in 1916, was orphaned in late childhood and adopted at age 13 by kinsman William Alexander Percy, a poet and patron of the arts from Greenville. After initially acquiring an M.D. degree from Columbia University, Walker Percy contracted tuberculosis. During that time, he discovered the works of existential philosophers and changed career course. His first published novel, “The Moviegoer,” won the 1962 National Book Award. His six novels, two non-fiction books and numerous scientific and philosophical essays further explore his ideas and assure him a firm place in American literature. He died May 10, 1990, in Covington, Louisiana.
The Mississippi Writers Trail is an initiative of the Mississippi Arts Commission, in partnership with Visit Mississippi, National Endowment for the Humanities, the Community Foundation for Mississippi, Mississippi Book Festival, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Department of Archives and History and Mississippi Library Commission. The trail will span the state and highlight notable places that helped shape some of the world’s most acclaimed authors’ lives and influenced their renowned works.
For additional information, go to visitmississippi.org/writerstrail.