Odd Words January 21, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Odd Words
What I love most about this literary city in the post-Katrina era is the way we treasure our own stories, the way we have listened to and sympathized and encouraged one another in telling those stories. Every New Orleanian is a storyteller now, knows his or her thread of our great urban narrative. We have learned to cherish one another, just as we have learned to value anew our city’s history, its mythology, its sturdy yet exuberant culture. Bookstores were some of our havens after the storm; festivals and readings became rites of civic renewal.
– Susan Larson, former book editor of the Times Picayune, in her final column
Farewell to all that: The Times-Picayune officially spikes any pretense of a book section, and Susan Larson writes her swan song. The remaining rip-and-paste wire reviews move to Sunday’s living section, but at least there will be a once a month column by former Times-Picayune Books section editor Suzanne Stouse. And so another pretense to being anything like a major newspaper slips away on Howard Avenue. I hope they can afford to keep someone on payroll to dust all those old Pulitzers.
§ As you know, I have an interest in memoir and particularly those with a strong tie to place. I’m going to miss Aristide Oconostota Marshal discussing his family history book The Trumpet Talked with Me! at the Latter Library but I think I am going to have to pick up his book. Sadly, it’s from Ex Libris which means that even if our local newspaper had a book section, they wouldn’t review it.
§ It’s almost carnival and the Saints are in the playoffs and the only thing of note I find listed for this week is author Scott Ellis discussing and signing Madame Vieux Carre. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The author discusses and signs his book Madame Vieux Carre: The French Quarter in the Twentieth Century. 1 p.m. Saturday. Garden District Book Shop, The Rink, 2727 Prytania St. This looks like a charming book, and I normally don’t go for charming.
§ Dan Baum, lately of the New Yorker and notable for among other things his pink bowler, will celebrate the paperback release of Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia Books, Wednesday, February 24, 2010 6:00 p.m. Yes, I have picked on his newspaper writing but the book sounds interesting to me and now that it’s out in paperback I think I’ll have to break down and read it. But first I have to get that vision of his pink hat out of my mind.