My Email to Garrison Keillor re. Walker Percy

Dear Mr. Keillor,

You and Walker Percy both occupy honored places in my personal constellation of literary stars.

That’s why I was shocked and disappointed by your treatment of Dr. Percy in the May 28, 2014 edition of The Writer’s Almanac. Percy never worked as a psychiatrist. In fact, although he was an M.D., he never really practiced medicine. He contracted tuberculosis while conducting autopsies during a residency in pathology at the end of medical school.

And that synopsis of The Moviegoer (which thankfully only appears in the printed version of TWA) is just as horribly askew. Binx Bolling is a stockbroker who goes to the movies but “in an attempt to get over a nervous breakdown” reeks of having been pulled out of someone’s ass who never read the book and doesn’t really care.

I’m not sure I can trust what you say on TWA anymore.

Maybe what you need is a crusty old librarian who cares about real facts and knows how to dig into reliable sources. Coincidentally, I am just such a librarian (and poor starving poet to boot, having earned $100 from TWA, thank you very much, and about $3.95 in royalties since publishing my book). I would be interested in supplementing my meager poet-librarian’s salary, if you’re hiring.

I didn’t start off this email thinking it would turn into a job application, but the spirit surprises us sometimes.

Let me know what you think. In any case, I’m looking forward to what you come up with for Walker Percy the next time his birthday comes round.

All the best,
Jonathan Potter
Spokane WA


  1. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    If you haven’t sent it yet, please add a postscript telling him to stop trying to sing, at least in public. Thanks.

  2. TWA wakes me up every morning, although I didn’t hear this one. Be sure to post the reply, if you get one.

  3. $3.95! Not too shabby!

  4. You are Josey Wales in my book. Way to go Potter.

  5. Quin Finnegan says

    The Pale Rider to whoever writes TWA.

  6. Jonathan Potter says

    At the request of Joy Biles (Producer of TWA), I have removed the text of my exchange of emails with her that I previously posted here.

    Suffice it to say that her response to my email was good-natured and cordial and that I apologized for my harshness and crudeness.

    • Matthew Lickona says

      Does that mean she actually read the Korrektiv Komment section? Well, hello! At any rate, I would strike while the iron is hot; Mr. Keillor is at an age when he might be thinking about legacies and successors. Send them a tape of you reading a sample TWA in that laconic bass of yours. You, sir, are the complete package.

  7. I didn’t start off this email thinking it would turn into a job application, but the spirit surprises us sometimes.

    If this don’t get him, nuttin’ will.

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