I have not disappeared, it’s just Mardi Gras season in New Orleans and today is Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras. Things are a bit crazy here…
I thought I would share with you some of the best books I’ve read featuring New Orleans.
Love it or hate it, A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES is considered by some to epitomize life in New Orleans in a form that we know so well…satire. The tragic backstory of this book is that it was published eleven years after Toole’s suicide and quickly became a classic when it won a posthumous Pulitzer prize. If you want to read a fiction depiction that truly “gets” New Orleans, this is the book to tackle. The best part of it is the dialogue which honestly portrays the “yat” dialect which is common in our region. Enjoy.
Considered one of the first “women’s issues” fiction novels, THE AWAKENING is about a woman named Edna, who struggles with her life as a wife and a mother and her duties that revolve around those two titles. Her struggle comes when she is faced with choices and desires…freedom and restrictions. It’s a great novel and many of Edna’s choices can be applied to our modern lives. Edna’s family is from New Orleans and they vacation in Grand Isle, which is fun to read about for local natives.
Don’t watch the movie – even though it was a good movie – read the book. John Grisham is a phenomenal author and THE PELICAN BRIEF is a wonderful example of his talent at writing suspenseful legal fiction. The novel is about a Tulane University law student who writes a legal brief tying the murders of two prominent Supreme Court Justices to an oil big-wig who wanted to mess up the Louisiana wetlands with his oil drilling nasty. This of course, puts Darby Shaw in the crossfire.
The entire book might not be based in New Orleans, but the vampire Louis and his charismatic “maker” spend a great deal in the city, setting up shop in a fabulous French Quarter home. The book tells the story of the mopey vampire Louis who commits suicide by vampire. The act of feeding on humans becomes too much for Louis though and he turns to animals – but Lestat is constantly trying to bring Louis back to the fold. He even tempts Louis with a child, which they turn into a vampire. For decades they live in New Orleans as a family, until Claudia gets tired of her child body that will never grow and she and Louis blame their maker…it’s a classic. Don’t watch the movie – read the book.
I do have to say I enjoyed the live play more than just reading it, but it was an enjoyable read. STELLA!!! The broke Blanche Dubois, southern belle and indomitable character, moves to New Orleans to live with her sister, Stella. Blanche, even though, completely broke, still lives like she is the Belle of the Ball. Her behavior causes tons of havoc with her sister’s husband Stanley who’s violent behavior threatens Blanche’s tenuous grip on reality. Fun.