books

This week on the Reading Life:  Former senior drama critic of The New Yorker and biographer John Lahr, whose new book is Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Fles. Lahr recently received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and will be a headliner at this week's Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.

A Minden, La., historian has a new book of vintage photographs of his hometown. John A. Agan accumulated photos of Minden’s heritage over several decades. The book is titled “Lost Minden” because the town sustained a number of devastating fires, according to Agan. At the turn of the 20th century, a city ordinance banned wooden structures in its downtown. Agan says his book captures the businesses, town celebrations, storefronts and back streets that otherwise only remain in memories.

This week on the Reading Life:  historian Adam Rothman, author of  Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery and Skip Horack, whose new novel is The Other Joseph.

This week on The Reading Life: Celebrity journalist Kevin Sessums, whose new memoir is I Left It On the Mountain, and LaShonda Katrice Barnett, whose debut novel is Jam on the Vine. She’ll be appearing at this year’s Tennessee Williams/ Literary Festival, as well as the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival.

This week on The Reading Life: Rien Fertel, author of Imagining the Creole City: The Rise of Literary Culture in 19th Century New Orleans, and Linda Seabright of the Creativity Collective, which sponsors a book club called nolalit.

Rien's one of the featured speakers at this year's Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, and Linda's book group is taking a field trip to the Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest.

This week on the Reading Life: Director of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop M.O. Walsh, whose debut novel is My Sunshine Away, and C.S. Harris, author of Who Buries the Dead, the tenth in the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series.

This week on the Reading Life:  New Orleans native, novelist T. Geronimo Johnson, author of Welcome to Braggsville, and poets Brett Evans and Chris Shipman, authors of Tit Rex Parade.

There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson, a crime that occurred directly on top of the sidewalk of Piney Creek Road ... It was a crime impossible during daylight, when we neighborhood kids would have been tearing around in go-karts, coloring chalk figures on our driveways, or chasing snake down into storm gutters. But at night, the streets of Woodland Hills sat empty and quiet, except for the pleasure of frogs greeting the mosquitoes that rose in squadrons from the swamps behind our properties.

— That’s how “My Sunshine Away”, the debut novel from M.O. Walsh, begins.

It’s a suspense and a coming of age story set in an idyllic suburban neighborhood unsettled when a teenage girl — the narrator’s boyhood crush — is attacked.

Specifically, the novel is set in Baton Rouge. That’s where M.O. Walsh is from, but he now lives in New Orleans where he’s the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at UNO.


This week on the Reading Life: Love and Valentines! Morgan Molthrop talks about his new book, LOVE New Orleans, book artist Amelia Bird talks about making handmade Valentines at Baskerville, and Dan Reinhold talks about teaching a course in writing love poems.

This week on the Reading Life:  Novelist Tom Cooper, whose first book is The Marauders, and whose new book is The Test: Why Our Schools are Obsessed with Standardized Testing But You Don’t Have to Be.

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