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Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans March 13, 2016

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.

This week in literary New Orleans:

& Monday at 5:30 pm Tulane University’s NewDay Speaker Series features Saru Jayaraman author of FORKED: A New Standard for American Dining. A restaurant critic can tell you about the chef. A menu can tell you about the farm-sourced ingredients. Now who’s going to tell you about the people preparing your meal? FORKED is an enlightening examination of what we don’t talk about when we talk about restaurants: Is the line cook working through a case of stomach flu because he doesn’t get paid sick days? Is the busser not being promoted because he speaks with an accent? Is the server tolerating sexual harassment because tips are her only income? As most corporate restaurants continue to set low standards for worker wages and benefits, a new class of chefs and restaurateurs is working to foster sustainability in their food and their employees. FORKED offers an insider’s view of the highest–and lowest–scoring restaurants for worker pay and benefits in each sector of the restaurant industry, and with it, a new way of thinking about how and where we eat.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books presents  Claudette Sutton, author of FAREWELL, ALEPPO: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home. The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed. To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America. Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Suzanne Heagy and Love Lets Us Down. On a single day in June, 2004, newlywed ghosts Dorissa and Don haunt a room in an aging hotel, the Meridian Inn. On the afternoon that the ghosts arrive for their honeymoon, the hotel is full of characters—employees and guests—who inhabit the lobby, the pool area, and the parking lot, not to mention what happens behind closed doors. Individually, the characters include an unfaithful wife, an unfaithful husband, a missing girl, as well as a broken engagement, divorce, and unrequited love. If there is a hero in the novel, it might be the night supervisor Duncan, whose bitterness and sarcasm veil a tendency to assess and reflect, and to become involved in the concerns of other people.

& Also at 6 pm Tuesday Octavia Books features Roy Blount Jr. and SAVE ROOM FOR PIE: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations and off-the-cuff. Blount is one of America’s most cherished comic writers. He’s been compared to Mark Twain and James Thurber, and his books have been called everything from “a work of art” (Robert W. Creamer, The New York TimesBook Review) to “a book to read till it falls apart” (Newsweek). Now, in Save Room for Pie, he applies his much-praised wit and charm to a rich and fundamental topic: food.  In poems and songs, limericks and fake (or sometimes true) news stories, Blount talks about food in surprising and innovative ways, with all the wit and verve that prompted Garrison Keillor, in The Paris Review, to say: “Blount is the best. He can be literate, uncouth, and soulful all in one sentence.”

& Also on Tuesday celebrate the publication of Louisiana Women, Volume 2, at Maple Street Book Shop at 6pm.  Co-editor Mary Farmer-Kaiser and contributing writers Shannon Frystak, Tania Tetlow, and Leslie Gail Parr will read. The book highlights the significant historical contributions of some of Louisiana’s most noteworthy and also overlooked women from the eighteenth century to the present. This volume underscores the cultural, social, and political distinctiveness of the state as well as showcases the actions and activities of women who greatly affected the history of Louisiana in profound and interesting ways.  These essays on women at the forefront of Louisiana and national events include information about Sarah Morgan; Janet Mary Riley; Lindy Claiborne Boggs; Lucy Alston Pirrie; Appoline Patout, Mary Ann Patout, and Ida Patout Burns; Lulu White; Neda Jurisich, Eva Vujnovich, and Mary Jane Munsterman Tesvich; Carmelite “Cammie” Garrett Henry; Alice Dunbar-Nelson; Coralie Guarino Davis; Lucinda Williams; Rebecca Wells; Phoebe Bryant Hunter; Cora Allen; Sarah Towles Reed; and Georgia M. Johnson

& At 7 pm Tuesday Great Books Discussion Group at the East Jefferson Regional Library meets to discuss Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. The Old Metairie Library Great Books Discussion Group  meets to discuss The Prince by Machiavelli.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books also features James Beard Leadership Award winner Saru Jayaraman presents FORKED: A New Standard for American Dining.  FORKED offers an insider’s view of the highest–and lowest–scoring restaurants for worker pay and benefits in each sector of the restaurant industry, and with it, a new way of thinking about how and where we eat.

& Also at 6 pm Wednesday Garden District Book Shop hosts  Peter Finney Jr.  and The Best of Peter Finney, Legendary New Orleans Sportswriter. Five times each week over the past several decades, sports fans in New Orleans began their mornings by reading local sportswriter Peter Finney. Finney’s newspaper columns—entertaining, informative, and inspiring—connected New Orleans readers to the world of sports, for nearly 70 years. From a career total of 15,000 articles, this book offers a prime selection of the very best of Finney’s writing as well as an introduction from Peter Finney, Jr. This collection includes Finney’s account of Billy Cannon’s 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss in 1959; Tom Dempsey’s 1970 NFL-record 63-yard field goal; and the Saints’ 31–17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl. His interviews and profiles covered nearly every major sports figure of his time: Ted Williams, Jesse Owens, Joe DiMaggio, Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Billy Cannon, Pete Maravich, Lee Trevino, Rusty Staub, Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning, Eddie Robinson, Doug Williams, Dale Brown, Billy Martin, Brett Favre, Nick Saban, Shaquille O’Neal, Mike Ditka, Sean Payton, Drew Brees, Sugar Ray Leonard, Skip Bertman, Les Miles, and Tom Benson, among many others. The riveting moments and fascinating characters portrayed in this volume will delight both hardcore sports enthusiasts and casual fans, in stories told with Finney’s characteristic grace, humility, and wit.

& Wednesday at 8 pm Martin Cain and Sandra Grace Johnson read at Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater. Cain was raised in southern Vermont. Currently, he lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where he edits Yalobusha Review and hosts the Trobar Ric Reading Series. His writing has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Tarpaulin Sky, Jacket2, The Pinch, Action Yes, The Journal, Spork Press, and elsewhere. His first manuscript, Kids of the Black Hole, has been short-listed at Cleveland State, The Song Cave, Black Ocean, Tarpaulin Sky, and other presses, and he is pursuing an ongoing critical study of rural avant-gardes. Johnson is a poet, artist, vocalist and all around amazing human being.

& Also at 8 pm Wednesday Esoterotica is Not-Safe-for-Work (NSFW). Esoterotica’s local provocateurs will show you that just just because you may be ‘on the clock’ doesn’t mean you can’t get it on, with original erotica about all kinds of sex in the workplace. So no matter what kind of work you have, go to, or do, you are not going to want to miss this show… you may even get a few industrious ideas.

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books presents Peter Bergen, author of UNITED STATES OF JIHAD: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists, discusses the impetus compelling some Americans at home and abroad to join militanat Islamic groups. Since 9/11, more than three hundred Americans born and raised in Minnesota, Alabama, New Jersey, and elsewhere have been indicted or convicted of terrorism charges. Some have taken the fight abroad: an American was among those who planned the attacks in Mumbai, and more than eighty U.S. citizens have been charged with ISIS-related crimes. Others have acted on American soil, as with the attacks at Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, and in San Bernardino. What motivates them, how are they trained, and what do we sacrifice in our efforts to track them?  Paced like a detective story, United States of Jihad tells the entwined stories of the key actors on the American front.  Lucid and rigorously researched, United States of Jihad is an essential new analysis of the Americans who have embraced militant Islam both here and abroad.

On Thursday at 7 pm  Katy Simpson-Smith will be reading from and signing copies of her new book, “Free Men” , At Nix Library.  Maple Street Book Shop will be on hand to sell copies of the book.  From the author of the highly acclaimed The Story of Land and Sea comes a captivating novel, set in the late eighteenth-century American South, that follows a singular group of companions-an escaped slave, a white orphan, and a Creek Indian-who are being tracked down for murder.

& Also at 7pm Thursday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event Why the History of Women Writers Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux. Rioux has been teaching at UNO since the Fall of 1999. She is a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty and teaches courses in American literature, with an emphasis on the 19th century, cultural studies, and gender. She earned her doctoral degree in American Studies from Purdue University in 1999. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, and she writes reviews and essays for general and academic audiences, specializing in biography and women writers. She is particularly committed to the recovery of lost women’s voices.

& At the Main Branch Library on Thursday at 6 pm Stephanie Hepburn, author of Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden in Plain Sight, as she facilitates a panel discussion about human trafficking and the personal and financial costs to victims and society. The conversation will focus on both the local and global impacts of human trafficking. Other speakers include: Tamara Jackson, Executive Director of Silence is Violence; Andy Lewis, Coordinator of Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force; and Susanne Dietzel, PhD, Executive Director of Eden House.

& Friday at 7 pm Room 220 Presents: A Reading with Adam Tipps Weinstein, Laurence Ross, & Michael Jeffrey Lee at Antenna, 3718 St. Claude Ave. Weinstein is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, and Steffensen-Cannon fellow at the University of Utah. His first book, Some Versions of the Ice, was chosen by Fanny Howe for the NOS Book Contest is forthcoming from Les Figues–he is also nonfiction editor for Quarterly West. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Emily, and daughter, Zella Mae. Ross received his MFA from the University of Alabama where he served as the Creative Nonfiction Editor for Black Warrior Review. He has published his essays and reviews in literary journals such as Brevity, Gaga Stigmata, and The Georgia Review as well as The Huffington Post. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to Pelican Bomb, a regional publication dedicated to the Louisiana arts community. Laurence Ross lives in New Orleans where he recently served as the Director of P.3 Writes, a program in conjunction with U.S. Art Triennial Prospect New Orleans.  Lee’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in BOMB, The Collagist, Denver Quarterly, and Fairy Tale Review, among others. His first book, Something in My Eye, received the Mary McCarthy Prize and was published by Sarabande. He teaches at NOCCA, Tulane University, and for the Loyola Writing Institute.

& Saturday at 10 am at the East Jefferson Regional Library Emily McKay, author of numerous novels including the young adult book The Farm, will speak to the Southeastern Louisiana chapter of the Romance Writers of America. The event is free of charge and is open to the public. McKay will discuss the art of manuscript revision: “Does your Nano manuscript need some work? Do you sometimes wonder if the term rough draft is a euphemism for Unfixable Mess? If you’re struggling to whip your work-in-progress into shape, you’re not alone. All manuscripts need revisions. Sometimes it’s a little nip and tuck; other times it’s a full organ transplant, heart, lungs and all. Every book can be saved.”

& Saturday at 10:30 am the members of the Octavia Books Book Club will be discussing THE LAND OF LOVE AND DROWNING by Tiphanie Yanique. The club meets the third Saturday of every month. Members receive 10% off the selections.

& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop  will be hosting Connie Collins Morgan, author of “Hercules on the Bayou”. She will be reading from and signing copies of her book. Hercules faces his biggest challenge yet—the Louisiana swamps! Including battles with a twelve-clawed crawfish and the taming of a raging hurricane, this Cajun re-imagining of the Hercules legend stirs together myth, culture, and Louisiana spice. Sent down to the hot and humid bayou from his kingdom in the clouds, Hercules must perform four daring labors to escape the immortal queen’s wrath. Luckily, Hercules has godlike strength, bravery, and his new bayou family to help him conquer every incredible feat! This pourquois tale is told in the style of a gentle Cajun storyteller and features vibrant and whimsical illustrations. Written by an award-winning children’s educator, this adventure will have you shouting “Aiyee!” from start to finish

& At 2 pm Saturday the Greater New Orleans Chapter of LA Poetry Society meets at the Old Metairie Library.

& Sunday at 1 pm the Friends of NOPL are bringing their Book Sale to Norman Mayer Library. Hundreds of books for the whole family will be on sale — adult fiction and nonfiction, children’s and teens’, plus CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks.

& Next Sunday March 20 at 3 pm fiction writer Vicki Salloum reads from her newest novel, Candyland. at the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the longest continuously running poetry reading series in the South. Followed by an open mic in the patio of The Maple Leaf.



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