Spring is a busy time for book lovers in New Orleans: a flurry of fests, book sales and appearances by arts and letters types round out the calendar. Fortunately, no one in her right mind gives up reading for Lent.
Here's a few of our picks for literary activities this month.
- March 9: Bill Ayers. The vintage radical comes to Octavia Books to promote his newest book, which is a manifesto for aspiring activists. For a quick preview of what he's thinking about these days, check out his chat with Gambit about protest in the Trump era. 6 p.m.
- Mar. 9: Colson Whitehead. Whitehead's novel The Underground Railroad won last year's National Book Award. He's in conversation with WWL-TV's Sheba Turk in an event presented by New Orleans Public Library at the New Orleans Advocate's shiny new office. 7 p.m.
- March 9-12: Big Book Sale. Friends of the Jefferson Public Library takes over Kenner's Pontchartrain Center for its semi-annual sale of used books, puzzles, DVDs, CDs (remember those?), vinyl LPs and more. A recent email about the sale mentioned that they've got really good cookbooks and children's books this time. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
- March 16: Bernice L. McFadden and Alexis De Veaux. The fiction writers appear at Amistad Research Center's monthly "Conversations in Color" panel. Their talk is "Black Women Writers and the Re-Imagination of American Culture." At Ashe Cultural Arts Center at 6:30 p.m.
- March 22-26: Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. Now in its 31st year, the festival has grown into a five-day bookstravaganza at locations around the French Quarter that includes readings, panel discussions, performances, dining experiences, walking tours and more, capped off with the famous Stanley/Stella yelling contest Sunday afternoon. A full schedule of events is available online; just a glance at the list of speakers reveals basically all the familiar faces from New Orleans' literary scene. Wednesday-Sunday.
- March 24-26: Saints and Sinners Literary Festival. Because you can never have too many books (festivals), this festival focusing on LGBT writers and publishers runs concurrently with the Tennessee Williams Festival at Hotel Monteleone. Friday-Sunday.