Books

Friday, March 17, 2017

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to speak in New Orleans May 9

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 11:28 AM

sheryl-sandberg.jpg

Sheryl Sandberg, the high-profile Facebook COO and author of the ostensibly feminist career coaching tract Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, will appear in New Orleans later this spring. She's in conversation with commentator Mary Matalin at Academy of the Sacred Heart's Nims Fine Arts Center on May 9.

In Lean In, Sandberg essentially argues that there aren't as many women in the highest levels of business in part because they begin "opting out" of more demanding assignments in anticipation of pregnancy and child care. She urges professional women to invest more in their careers, rather than stepping back (the "you *can* have it all!" argument). The book sparked a backlash from critics who pointed out that Sandberg herself has resources like nannies, housekeepers and significant wealth to support an ambitious career — assets which aren't available to many women.

Sandberg later reevaluated some of her Lean In arguments after the sudden death of her husband. Her new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resistance and Finding Joy, details how her family recovered from that loss and how she learned to cope with the difficulties of being a single parent.

A ticket, which includes a copy of the new book, is required to attend the event sponsored by Garden District Book Shop. It's from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, Rod Dreher to speak at UNO April 17

Posted By on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 2:30 PM

HARPERCOLLINS
  • HARPERCOLLINS

J.D. Vance, author of the much-discussed Rust Belt memoir Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, will speak on a panel at University of New Orleans April 17. American Conservative senior editor Rod Dreher also will appear; their talk is called "Faith, Hillbillies and American Politics."

Vance has been regularly quoted in analyses of last fall's presidential election as a voice of the "white working class" some pundits credit with propelling President Donald Trump to power. In the book, he writes about the disillusionment of Rust Belt voters who feel left behind by the modern economy and say that many in national politics don't reflect their values. You can read excerpts from the book in the Washington Post and in National Review.

The event takes place in UNO's Geoghegan Ballroom at the Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center. A reception at 5:15 p.m. precedes the 6 p.m. talk. It's free to attend.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in March

Posted By on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Alison Fraser performs in A Tennessee Williams Songbook: Only a Paper Moon at the 2013 Tennessee WIlilams Festival.
  • Alison Fraser performs in A Tennessee Williams Songbook: Only a Paper Moon at the 2013 Tennessee WIlilams Festival.

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.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Interview: Activist, educator and author Bill Ayers

Posted By on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 9:46 AM

COURTESY BILL AYERS
  • COURTESY BILL AYERS

Bill Ayers first achieved notoriety as a leading voice in 1960s radical-left groups such as Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground. (You may remember his name from a brief 2008 controversy in which he was rumored to be acquainted with then-candidate Barack Obama.) Now 72, he's spent his life involved in activism, particularly eduction reform, while teaching at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He's also written several books. He'll present his latest, Demand the Impossible!: A Radical Manifesto, at Octavia Books March 9. In advance of his appearance, he spoke briefly with Gambit by phone about the book and the future of social justice activism. A condensed and edited version of that conversation appears below.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Nix Library branch to reopen March 6; library announces Mardi Gras hours

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2017 at 3:43 PM

The Nix branch on S. Carrollton Ave. will reopen March 6. - CREATIVE COMMONS/INFROGMATION OF NEW ORLEANS
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/INFROGMATION OF NEW ORLEANS
  • The Nix branch on S. Carrollton Ave. will reopen March 6.
The Nix branch of the New Orleans Public Library will reopen March 6, according to the NOPL's Facebook page.

It closed its doors in late October for improvements, which include a new floor plan, paint, additional public computers and general infrastructure. Nix also will have new landscaping and lighting when it reopens.

Hours will remain the same: opening at 10 a.m. Monday-Saturday, with closure at 8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Some NOPL branches will be keeping irregular hours during Carnival season; here's a chart of which libraries are open when.

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Stories you may have missed this week: Immigration, Carnival prep and James Baldwin

Posted By on Sun, Feb 5, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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"WE'RE CALLED TO SERVE THE VULNERABLE": New Orleans refugee agencies respond to President Donald Trump's immigration order.

FREE MOVIE SCREENINGS: Louisiana documentaries at Jazz & Heritage Center today; the Louisiana Youth Justice Coalition hosts a screening of 2017 documentary They Call Us Monsters at Zeitgeist tomorrow.

NOT-SO-NEUTRAL GROUND: People already are saving their spaces for Endymion.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Review: I Am Not Your Negro

Posted By on Fri, Feb 3, 2017 at 3:09 PM

James Baldwin in I Am Not Your Negro
  • James Baldwin in I Am Not Your Negro

There were many heroes in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, but novelist, essayist and social critic James Baldwin became the movement’s leading literary voice. Uniquely perceptive and brutally honest regarding all aspects of racism and race relations in America, Baldwin became a cultural icon not only through his brilliant writing but also his speeches and frequent appearances on television.

In 1979, at age 55, Baldwin reluctantly decided to write a major work called Remember This House that would examine the lives and deaths of his close friends and fellow activists Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers. Each was murdered between 1963 and 1968, reshaping the civil rights movement and profoundly affecting Baldwin’s life and art. “I want these three lives to bang against each other and reveal each other as, in truth, they did,” Baldwin wrote of his prospective work. Upon his death in 1987, the author had written only 30 pages of Remember This House.

Working with Baldwin’s estate, Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck sought to “finish” that book through an examination of Baldwin’s writings and public presentations, along with a strong emphasis on the content of those 30 pages. The result is Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, a strikingly original film and an Oscar nominee for Best Documentary Feature at this month’s 89th Academy Awards.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Books roundup: Five book-related events in February in New Orleans

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 9:00 AM

L. Kasimu Harris reads at Antenna (3718 St. Claude Ave.) Feb. 2. - IRVING JOHNSON III
  • IRVING JOHNSON III
  • L. Kasimu Harris reads at Antenna (3718 St. Claude Ave.) Feb. 2.

It's February, that month in which we typically celebrate Mardi Gras and the lesser, more saccharine occasion known as Valentine's Day. If you need a refuge from the parade route — or a date-night idea to impress that cute librarian — here are five literary events to check out this month.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

'Alternative facts'? No — just the facts, please

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 12:37 PM

Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump, told Meet the Press that the White House was providing "alternative facts," not falsehoods. - CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/GAGE SKIDMORE
  • Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump, told Meet the Press that the White House was providing "alternative facts," not falsehoods.

“You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts.” Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Donald Trump, on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“Alternative facts” may sound like something cooked up between George Orwell and Stephen Colbert, but President Trump’s administration doubled down on them during his first few days in office. Conway coined the term “alternative facts” on Meet the Press the day after presidential press secretary Sean Spicer held a belligerent press conference during which he insisted “the media” miscounted and downplayed the number of people at Mr. Trump’s inauguration the day before.

Spicer, Conway and Trump are entitled to their belief that the inauguration was the most beautiful in history, or the most historic, or any other superlative they might imagine. They are not, however, entitled to their own “facts” — which were contradicted by several objective criteria, including photographs of the National Mall, satellite images and ridership numbers from Washington D.C. public transit.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of Strangers in Their Own Land, to speak at UNO Jan. 18

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 3:40 PM

Arlie Russell Hochschild. - COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF NEW ORLEANS
  • Courtesy University of New Orleans
  • Arlie Russell Hochschild.

Arlie Russell Hochschild, a sociologist whose spent five years in Lake Charles trying to understand red state voters, will speak at the University of New Orleans next Wednesday.

Hochchild's recent book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, adds to a growing volume of scholarship about the "Great Paradox," or how conservative voters embrace politicians and policies that seem to oppose their own interests: the poor Appalachia resident who hates "Obamacare," the Gulf Coast fisherman who votes to deregulate the oil industry. You can read an essay adapted from the book here; it was a National Book Award finalist in 2016.

She'll appear in the Innsbruck Room at UNO's University Center at 1 p.m. Jan. 18. It's free to attend.

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