Faust, Rhoda K.

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Rhoda K. Faust owned and operated Maple Street Bookshop and Faust Publishing, both of New Orleans, La. Around 1979, Faust befriended Thelma Toole, mother of author John Kennedy Toole (1937-1969). Together Faust and Thelma Toole, with the help of author Walker Percy, succeeded in convincing the Louisiana State University Press to publish John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces in 1980. Although John Kennedy Toole had committed suicide eleven years earlier in 1969, he was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for A Confederacy of Dunces in 1981. Before writing A Confederacy of Dunces in his late 20s, John Kennedy Toole had authored another novel, The Neon Bible, at age 16. According to Rhoda K. Faust, Toole's mother, Thelma Toole, loaned Faust the manuscript of this earlier work and granted her permission to publish it. Sometime around 1980, the friendly relationship between Faust and Thelma Toole turned sour, and Thelma Toole demanded the return of the manuscript and denied ever giving Faust permission to publish The Neon Bible . Faust filed suit against Thelma Toole claiming that Toole had entered into a verbal contract with her, which granted her company, Faust Publishing, the right to publish The Neon Bible . Lower courts and appeals courts in Louisiana failed to recognize the validity of the verbal contract. The Neon Bible was finally published by Grove Press in 1989.

From the guide to the Rhoda K. Faust Collection on John Kennedy Toole and Other Materials, 1925-2000, (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.)

Rhoda K. Faust owned and operated Maple Street Bookshop and Faust Publishing, both of New Orleans, La. Around 1979, Faust befriended Thelma Toole, mother of author John Kennedy Toole (1937-1969). They, with help from author Walker Percy, succeeded in convincing the Louisiana State University Press to publish John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces in 1980. Toole was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for the novel in 1981, eleven years after he had committed suicide. Toole's first novel was was The Neon Bible, which he wrote at age 16. According to Rhoda K. Faust, Thelma Toole loaned Faust the manuscript of this earlier work and granted her permission to publish it. Sometime around 1980, Thelma Toole demanded the return of the manuscript and denied having given Faust permission to publish it. Faust filed suit claiming that Toole had entered into a verbal contract with her. Courts in Louisiana failed to recognize the validity of the verbal contract.

From the description of Rhoda K. Faust collection on John Kennedy Toole and other materials, 1925-2000. WorldCat record id: 86116401

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Faust, Rhoda K. Rhoda K. Faust collection on John Kennedy Toole and other materials, 1925-2000. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Rhoda K. Faust Collection on John Kennedy Toole and Other Materials, 1925-2000 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bebinger, Craig. person
associatedWith Faust Publishing. corporateBody
associatedWith Gottlieb, Robert, 1931- person
associatedWith Lemann, Nancy. person
associatedWith Maple Street Bookshop (New Orleans, La.) corporateBody
associatedWith Mitchell, Reid. person
associatedWith Toole, John Kennedy, 1937-1969. person
associatedWith Toole, Thelma. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Louisiana--New Orleans
New Orleans (La.)
Subject
Booksellers and bookselling
Authors, American--20th century
Mothers and sons
Publishers and Publishing
Novelists, American--20th century
Mothers of authors
Occupation
Activity

Person

Active 1925

Active 2000

Information

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Ark ID: w6fn203h

SNAC ID: 17673790