Susan Larson

Host of The Reading Life

Before becoming the host of The Reading Life in 2010, Susan Larson was the book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayunefrom 1988-2009. She has served on the boards of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and the New Orleans Public Library. She is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Book Association, which presents the annual Diana Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction.. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community. She is also the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans. If you run into her in a local bookstore or library, she'll be happy to suggest something you should read. She thinks New Orleans is the best literary town in the world, and she reads about a book a day.

Ways to Connect

This week on The Reading Life: Mary Farmer-Kaiser, co-editor with Shannon Frystak, of a great collection of essays, Louisiana Women: Their Life and Times, Vol. 2, and Alison Gaylin, author of the new thriller, What Remains of Me. Alison is one of the featured guests at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary festival, coming up March 30-April 3.

This week on The Reading Life: Paul Willis and Tracy Ferrington Cunningham preview the 30th annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. Marlene Trestman talks about Fair Labor Lawyer: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin, and prize-winning poet Rickey Laurentiis tells us about writing Boy with Thorn and coming home for LitFest.

This week on the Reading Life: University of New Orleans professor Anne Boyd Rioux, whose new biography is Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist, and Chris Offutt, author of My Father, The Pornographer: A Memoir.

This week on The Reading Life: Mystery novelist Julie Smith, editor of New Orleans Noir: The Classics. And novelist Lisa Alther, co-author with artist Francoise Gilot, of About Women: Conversations between a Writer and a Painter.

This week I’ll be talking with Dr. Mary Frances Berry, author of Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich: Vote Buying and the Corruption of Democracy, along with Greg Malveaux, former director of the Louisiana Vote Fraud Commission. We’ll also hear from novelist Katy Simpson Smith, whose new book is Free Men.

This week on the Reading Life: Sunil Yapa, author of The Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, and young adult author Ruta Sepetys, author of Salt to the Sea.

This week on the Reading Life: Arthur Hardy, celebrating 40 years of publishing Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide, and Yvonne Perret, author of the children's book,  The Little Float that Could.

This week on The Reading Life: Todd Mouton, whose foot-stomping new book is Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop Music, and Carrie Brown, whose evocative new novel is The Stargazer's Sister.

This week, in observance of Martin Luther King’s birthday, we’ll be reprising in its entirely our conversation with Sybil Morial, author of Witness to Change: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment. We'll also hear from poet Kelly Harris DeBerry, whose new spoken word CD is Revival, and a special tribute to Maya Angelou.

This week on The Reading Life: Bestselling crime writer Val McDermid, whose new novel is Splinter the Silence.  Also, home girl Hoda Kotb, whose new book, written with Jane Lorenzini, is Where We Belong: Journeys that Show Us the Way, and short story writer, Juyanne James, making a fabulous debut with The Persimmon Trail and Other Stories.