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: The Louisiana Book Festival takes place Saturday, October 29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the State Capitol Grounds in Baton Rouge. We feature two of the Festival guests who have new books: Robert Hicks, whose new novel is "The Orphan Mother," which continues the story of characters in "Queen of the South," and Matthew Griffin, whose marvelous debut novel is "Hide."

This week The Reading Life is all about crime fiction. Susan talks with two bestselling authors: Tana French chronicles the adventures of the Dublin Murder Squad; her new book is The Trespasser. James Lee Burke, creator of Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux, writes about his native Houston in The Jealous Kind.

This week on The Reading Life: National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward talks about editing the important new anthology, "The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race," and New Orleans native Clint Smith, one of the poets in that anthology, talks about his new book, "Counting Descent."

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Robert Olen Butler, whose new novel is "Perfume River." We'll also hear from Michael Allen Zell, whose new novel in the New Orleans-set Bobby Delery  series is "Law & Desire."

This week on The Reading Life:  Whitney Stewart talks about tracking her family's history through World War II for "Feldpost: The War Letters of Reiner Niemann." We’ll also hear from Raymond Boudreau, who’s the guest coordinator of Contraflow VI, the fantasy and science fiction convention coming up this weekend with featured guest Ben Bova. And Susan reviews Colson Whitehead's "The Underground Railroad."

This week on The Reading Life: Roulhac Toledano and Scott Veazey, authors of the gorgeous new art book,  Martha Wright Ambrose (1914-2000): The Rediscovery of a Southern Regional Artist. We’ll also hear from Ethan Brown, author of the sure-to-be-controversial Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life:  Bestselling crime novelist Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I. Warshawski series and this year's winner of the Pinckley Prize for Crime Fiction for a Distinguished Body of Work, who's coming for Bouchercon, the great mystery writers and fans convention taking place next weekend.

This week on The Reading Life: Writers and activists Haki Madhubuti (publisher of Third World Press) and Ishmael Reed (author of "Shrovetide in Old New Orleans" and "Mumbo Jumbo"). They are among the headliners at this weekend’s Black Arts Movement 2016 conference at Dillard University. We’ll also hear from Ken Foster, celebrating ten years of his book, The Dogs Who Found Me.

This week on The Reading Life: Poet Alison Pelegrin, whose new book is "Waterlines."  We’ll have a visit with Doug Keller and Ashley Teamer of Big Class, the city-wide writing initiative. Then Sisira Holbrook, Allison Flemington, Emma Rioux, and illustrator Kara Daveron , 7th graders at Lusher Charter School, tell us about publishing the Harry Potter newspaper the Quibbler.

This week on The Reading Life: Lara Naughton, author of The Jaguar Man: A Memoir, and Peyton Burgess, author of The Fry Pans Aren’t Sufficing.

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