Walker Percy: Portraits Over Time

by Christopher R Harris


Download Video: Closed Format: MP4 Open Format: OGG / WebM

This is a project to fund a book proposal for a book of photographs of the novelist Walker Percy taken over a period of almost twenty years.

I started teaching twenty years ago after a twenty-five year career as a photojournalist working for national and international publications while based in New Orleans. It was during this period that I met--and began documenting--the existentialist author Walker Percy. I first met him while on assignment for People magazine on the publication of his novel, "Lancelot."

We saw each other on many different occasions after that...not only did we both live in the same little town of Covington, Louisiana...across the lake from New Orleans...but he also would call on me on occasion to come-by and photograph him. This led to my taking documentary photographs of Percy over a period of almost twenty years.

I am seeking funding to produce a set of three, thirty-photo presentation books for submission to publishers in hopes of securing publication of a large, "coffee table" book of my photographs of Dr. Percy over the years. This funding would pay for editing and scanning from a collection of over one thousand negatives that have never before been released for public view. The resultant presentation books would hold reproduction grade, 13x 19 in., archival quality, black and white Giclee prints.

This is the 50th anniversary of the release of Dr. Percy's best-known book, "The Moviegoer." It is with this anniversary in mind that I wish to release this book of photographs. I have met with, and gotten approval of  Walker Percy's heirs to proceed with this publication.

The author Walter Isaacson (the biographer of Steve Jobs) has seen some of the images proposed for the book and has stated (on July 19, 2012) that, "Walker Percy possessed a profound grace which he wore lightly, and he had eyes that knew sorrow yet could still sparkle. Chris Harris has captured all of this and more in his fine photographs, which will warm the heart of every Walker Percy fan."