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-Picayune from 1988-2009. She is the vice president for literary programming of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, she serves on the board of directors of the New Orleans Public Library, and she is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Book Association. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community.

A member of the National Book Critics Circle, Larson is the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans. You'll probably run into her in a local bookstore or library, and 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

photo provided by Tulane University

This week on The Reading Life: Mike Kuczynski, chair of the Tulane University English department, about the celebration of First Folio: The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, and how you can see one of the world’s rarest books in New Orleans in an exhibit that opens with a jazz funeral for Shakespeare May 9 at the Newcomb Art Museum. We’ll also hear from University of New Orleans creative writing professor Richard Goodman about The Electric Pencil: Drawings from Inside State Hospital No. 3, by James Edward Deeds Jr.

This week on The Reading Life: William Geroux, author of  The Mathews Men: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-Boats. And celebrating Jazzfest, we’ll also hear from Michael Murphy, the author of Hear Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Rich Musical Heritage and Lively Current Scene.

This week on The Reading Life: Adrian Van Young, who conjures the Spiritualists in his debut novel, Shadows in Summerland. And we celebrate Poetry Month with Loyola's Mark Yakich, author of Poetry: A Survivor’s Manual, and UNO's Carolyn Hembree, author of Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine and Other Ways to Escape a Plague.

This week on The Reading Life: Vivian Swift, author of Gardens of Awe and Folly: A Traveler’s Journal on the Meaning of Life and Gardening, and Bill Lavender talks about the first New Orleans Poetry Festival, coming up April 15-17.

This week on The Reading Life: Bestselling author Erik Larson, author of Isaac's Storm, The Devil in the White City, In the Garden of Beasts, and Thunderstruck. He's coming to New Orleans April 12 to talk about his most recent book is Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, which is new in paperback.We’ll also talk with Lydia Pyne, whose most recent book is Bookshelf.

This week on The Reading Life: Two of this year’s guests at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival — Mary Badham, who portrayed Scout in the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, and novelist Cynthia Bond, author of Ruby, the first selection for the Oprah Book Club 2.0.

This week on The Reading Life: Alexander Chee, a featured guest at the upcoming Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. His new book is the stunning historical novel, The Queen of the Night. Well also talk with Claudia Baumgarten, who’s doing her one-woman show, Wit and Wrath: The Life and Times of Dorothy Parker, at the Festival.

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.

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