Joel Fletcher papers open to the public

Tulane University’s Louisiana Research Collection is pleased to announce that the Joel Fletcher papers are now open to the public. Joel Fletcher, author of the book Ken and Thelma, donated his papers to Tulane University in 2006. Joel Fletcher was a friend of John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces and Thelma Ducoing Toole, John’s mother.

The papers consist of Joel Fletcher’s research files for Ken and Thelma, a book about his friendship with Ken and Thelma Toole, and how A Confederacy of Dunces came to be published. The collection contains correspondence, drafts, reviews, and supporting materials. The collection contains criticism on previous biographies of John Kennedy Toole, and Fletcher’s letters with Thelma Ducoing Toole, New Orleans author Poppy Z. Brite, University of New Orleans professor Kenneth Holditch, and friends of the Toole family.

The Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University’s Special Collections Library also has the papers of John Kennedy Toole. The addition of Fletcher’s papers will considerably expand the scope of scholarly research on the life and works of John Kennedy Toole. The finding aid for the collection can be found at

Posted by Eira Tansey


  1. This collection will be of special interest to the new circle of Toole scholars—-both those we have highlighted here because of their current projects such as Toole biographer Cory MacLauchlin and documentary filmmaker Joe Sanford--but also upcoming young students, faculty, and the many visitors to our repository frequently requesting to view the John Kennedy Toole Papers here in our Special Collections reading room. Lee Miller says that this topic never goes out of style, but things are reaching a crescendo at the current time. Please note too that the Joel L. Fletcher Papers are represented in our library catalog as well as in WorldCat. (see our library web site, We are proud of our association with Joel Fletcher, and look forward to a visit from him soon. Susanna Powers, Manuscripts Catalog Librarian, LaRC, H-TML, Tulane.

  2. I am excited to see them! How odd that I have to travel to Louisiana to see the papers of one of my neighbors here in Virginia. But I will take any reason to go down to New Orleans. Thank you for making these public.


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