He has left town only once in his life to apply for a teaching position in Baton Rouge, and that trip has become the defining event of his life, traumatizing him against travel and work.
Ignatius is overweight, overeducated, and overindulged by his mother Irene.
Lana Lee, the owner of Night of Joy, is a Nazi in Ignatius' eyes.
Lana hires a young black man, Jones, to sweep the bar for sub-minimum wages by threatening to turn him into the police for vagrancy.
The hapless Mancuso, now assigned to undercover work as a first step toward being thrown off the force, feels sorry for Irene and arranges time payments of her debt.
Ignatius resents Mancuso's incursion into the household. Irene, however, sees no alternative to Ignatius' going to work to help pay off the debt.As its characters burst into life, they leave the region and literature forever changed by their presence -- Ignatius and his mother; Miss Trixie, the octogenarian assistant accountant at Levi Pants; inept, wan Patrolman Mancuso; Darlene, the Bourbon Street stripper with a penchant for poultry; Jones the jivecat in spaceage dark glasses.Included here is the introduction that writer and New Orleans resident Andrei Codrescu composed for the book's twentieth anniversary.Ignatius' first job is as a file clerk in the floundering Levy Pants Company, where he sets his mind to improving operations and drawing Gus Levy back into the day-to-day business.Gus, regularly besieged by his harpy wife, prefers to leave details to his hapless office manager, Gonzalez, poorly assisted by the senile Miss Trixie. Levy, an amateur psychologist, demands she be kept on and made to feel wanted.Ignatius and his mother seek refuge in a nearby bar, dark and unfriendly.Irene befriends a young gay man, Dorian Greene, whom Ignatius dismisses as a degenerate.Much of the first draft of Confederacy was written while he was in the army, stationed in Puerto Rico teaching English to new recruits. Reilly dresses eccentrically, holds a master's degree, has no job, is 30 years old, and lives with his widowed mother, Irene, in a dark, old house in New Orleans.Ignatius is dressed as a pirate, assigned to the French Quarter, and ordered to sell or be fired.Ignatius resents his mother's joining Mancuso and Mancuso's aunt, Santa Battaglia, in nightly bowling outings.