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: Bill Fagaly, former curator at the New Orleans Museum of Art, talks about about his wonderful essay in "Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans," about the Arthur Roer Gift to the New Orleans Museum of Art. Literacy activist Megan Holt previews the citywide reading initiative, One Book One New Orleans, and this year's selection, "Counting Descent," by poet Clint Smith.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Louisiana State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton. We’ll also hear from book artists Jessica Peterson and Sara White, who have an exhibit, "Convergence," up at Antenna Gallery Reading Room. Jessica also offers book arts classes at her studio, Southern Letterpress.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Julia Glass, whose wonderful new novel is A House Among the Trees; she has fond memories of her career taking off after she won the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society's prize for novella. Ellen Gilchrist, who's coming to town this week, talks about the hard won wisdom that comes with time in her new collection, Things Like the Truth: Out of My Later Years.

This week on The Reading Life: Bill Loehfelm's policewoman Maureen Coughlin takes on Mardi Gras in "The Devil’s Muse." We’ll also hear from artist Emma Fick, who has created the very charming and colorful sketchbook, "Snippets of New Orleans."

This week on The Reading Life: We'll be talking about the Vietnamese community in Louisiana in fact and in fiction. Mark VanLandingham talks about his scholarly study, Weathering Katrina: Culture and Recovery Among Vietnamese Americans. And Joanne O’Sullivan, author of the young adult novel, Between Two Skies, a story of a a Cajun girl who falls in love with a budding Vietnamese bluesman in her home town of Bayou Perdu.

This week on The Reading Life: Tulane professor Yuri Herrera, whose third book set in the world of Mexican drug culture is "Kingdom Cons." Journalist/historian Paige Bowers of Baton Rouge, author of "The General’s Niece: The Little Known DeGaulle Who Fought to Free Occupied France,' talks about her quest to tell the story of Genevieve DeGaulle.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life: Jon McCarthy, author of "Hard Roll: A Paramedic’s Perspective of Life and Death in New Orleans." Michael Allen Zell previews Bloomsday 2017, that annual celebration of James Joyce's "Ulysses," and catches us up on books coming from the new imprint, Crescent City Books.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with New Orleans mystery writer Jean Redmann, author of Girl on the Edge of Summer and Perdition, and just in time for June weddings, Ada Calhoun talks about her new essay collection, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give.

This week on The Reading Life: Culinary historian Jessica Harris, author of High on the Hog, Beyond Gumbo, and so many other great books, talks about about her new and very personal memoir, "My Soul Looks Back." Nicholas Reynolds uncovers a new side of a great American writer in "Writer, Sailor, Soldier Spy, Ernest Hemingway’s Secret Adventures, 1935-1961," and Phyllis Jordan previews that annual rite of spring, the Symphony Book Fair.

**Lagniappe Audio**

This week on The Reading Life: Bestselling novelist Alys Arden, author of "The Casquette Girls" and "The Romeo Catchers," is creating the next generation of New Orleans witches and vampires. And geographer Joshua Jelly-Schapiro takes us on a leisurely historical/cultural tour in "Island People: The World and the Caribbean."

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