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Odd Words September 8, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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I’m so worn out from typing all these listings I’m too tired to even link to the Rumpus. If you want some literary chatter, go back and reread this if you missed it over the holiday weekend. Or maybe Maud Newton’s [sigh] piece on how we are all becoming David Foster Wallace. Well, everybody but Ray who is becoming Raymond Carver. What I am becoming can be ordered on the Toulouse Street shopping page under Surprise Box. Or you can just listen to this.

You might also want to consider this: is texting going to create a new generation of poets and poetry readers? “The poem is a form of texting … it’s the original text,” says Carol Ann Duffy, the UK’s poet laureate told The Guardian. “It’s a perfecting of a feeling in language – it’s a way of saying more with less, just as texting is. We’ve got to realise that the Facebook generation is the future – and, oddly enough, poetry is the perfect form for them. It’s a kind of time capsule – it allows feelings and ideas to travel big distances in a very condensed form.”

Um, I’m not so sure about this, although it could be the future of prose fiction.

& At Ogden After Hours this week John Swenson will sign NEW ATLANTIS: MUSICIANS BATTLE FOR THE SURVIVAL OF NEW ORLEANS. The book chronicles the struggles of musicians in the aftermath of Katrina to restore New Orleans musical culture. Rolling Stone calls the book “a fast-moving hybrid of richly detailed journalism and compelling partisan memoir.” $10 admission for non-members, but you can attend the booksigning for free. Ogden After Hours will also feature cellist Helen Gillet, access to the exhibits and a cash bar (and no, you can’t take your drinks in the exhibits; I tried). Ogden Museum of Art, Thursday Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.

&If you haven’t gotten your fix of Southern Gothic from THE HOMECOMING OF SAMUEL LAKE (about which I’ve only heard positive things from those with early copies), check out debut novelist Chris Buehlman THOSE ACROSS THE RIVER. “Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family’s old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.” Garden District Books, Friday, Sept. 9th at 5:30 p.m.

&On Saturday, Garden District features MISS TIMMINS’ SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, part coming-of-age story, part murder mystery tells the story of a young English teacher who starts out seeking love, but ends up finding freedom. Author Nayana Currimbhoy will sign and discuss Saturday, Sept. 10 at 1 p.m.

& This sounds almost too strange to be true until you remember MAUS: New Orleans artist Alan Gerson talks about and signs his just released THE 9-11 COMIC BOOK at Octavia Books on Sunday, 9/11. “Packing blunt storytelling by N.P. Clearly, backed by gut-grabber artwork by Gerson, THE 9-11 COMIC BOOK recounts the events of 9-11 with horror and hope. The Narrator is none other than the Angel of Death.” I’ll be flying on 9/11 (because that’s the way we roll) but I think this is too interesting not to have. In fact, I just ordered my online from the store. Octavia Books, Sunday, Sept. 11 2 p.m.

&You might want to dust off your Mr. Darcy costume from the last Mandeville Jane Austen Festival and join Autsen scholar William Deresiewicz discussing JJANE AUSTEN EDUCATION, which uses Austen’s novels to reveal the remarkable life lessons hidden within. With humor and candor, Deresiewicz employs his own experiences to demonstrate the enduring power of Austen’s teachings. Progressing from his days as an immature student to a happily married man, Deresiewicz’s A Jane Austen Education is the story of one man’s discovery of the world outside himself. Suitable Mr. Darcy duds are suggested by the cover’s paper doll on the event page. Garden District Books, Tuesday, Sept. 13t at 5:30 p.m.

& The Loyola Writing Institute Fall 2011 Writing Workshop: Writing Well-Crafted Fiction will be led by Stephen Rea, author of FINN MCCOOL’S FOOTBALL CLUB. The class will run eight weeks starting Tuesday, Sept. 27. Cost is $250 and you can register here. Deadline to sign up is Sept. 13.

&A week from today noted local novelist Robert Olen Butler will read from and sign his newest, A SMALL HOTEL, again at Garden District Books. (I wonder if they get a percentage of the bar from the coffee house for all these events?) Set in contemporary New Orleans but working its way back in time, A Small Hotel chronicles the relationship between Michael and Kelly Hays, who have decided to separate after 24 years of marriage. (Sounds like it could be more fun than a double bill of Blue Valentine and Synechdoche, N.Y. followed by a close reading of Lay Down in Darkness. For some of us, at least. But I’ll want a copy anyway). Sadly I’ll be out of town but you should be at Garden District Books, Thursday, Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Down the road a bit, mark your calendars for Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s celebration of the birthday of its namesake, Nobel laureate William Faulkner and toast concurrently the birthday of one of the Society’s co-founders, author and scholar in Southern literature, W. Kenneth Holditch. Dr. Holditch will give a talk on Faulkner and Tennessee Williams and their importance on contemporary writing and sign his new book
on Tennessee Williams. Co-presented by The Louisiana State Museum, the event is free to the general public with advance reservations. To reserve, contact Faulkner Society at Faulkhouse@aol.com or call (504) 524-2940 to reserve or reserve copies of books in advance. For more details on authors, visit http://www.wordsandmusic.org. Free refreshments.

While we’re peering into the future, I am scheduled as a Featured Reader at 17 Poets on Thursday, Sept. 29, so be sure to cancel all possibly conflicting plans. Mention the phrase “Isolation is the Gift” and I’ll buy you a Hi Lfe.

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