Books

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Planned Parenthood hosts storytelling and community health event May 20

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 9:00 AM

A protester holds a sign at a February rally supporting Planned Parenthood. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • A protester holds a sign at a February rally supporting Planned Parenthood.

"Standing Strong," a storytelling series hosted by Planned Parenthood, discusses barriers to women's health care in the South. The May 20 event caps off National Women's Health Week.

At the event at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, speakers will discuss the positive impact Planned Parenthood has had on their lives and propose ways Southern women can work to enhance their health care community. Featured speakers include poet and activist Sonya Renee Taylor — you can watch her perform one of her firebrand poems about reproductive rights here — and Erika Jupiter, who was a Planned Parenthood patient when she was younger and grew up to be a senior field organizer for the organization. Local health groups also will table and offer information about community resources.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday. It's free to attend, but advance registration is required.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

At New Orleans appearance, a polished Sheryl Sandberg says "it gets better"

Posted By on Wed, May 10, 2017 at 12:00 PM

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In a 45-minute conversation at Academy of the Sacred Heart with crackly conservative intellectual Mary Matalin, Sheryl Sandberg spoke about bereavement and recovery as told in her new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.

Sandberg is like a new sort of person: Facebook COO; alumna of Harvard (twice), the World Bank, the Treasury Department and Google; poised, without the hesitation and self-questioning that so often characterizes women's speech; at ease in front of a crowd of hundreds; spin-class slim at age 47; delicate pink pumps; voice like a piece of black velvet.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Three questions about the White House chiefs of staff for author Chris Whipple

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 12:30 PM

Chris Whipple. - DAVID HUME KENNERLY
  • DAVID HUME KENNERLY
  • Chris Whipple.

For Chris Whipple's new book, The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, the author and filmmaker interviewed all 17 living former chiefs of staff, plus two presidents and an untold number of aides and former colleagues. The result is a lively narrative history of the presidential staff member who can make or break a presidency, often from behind the scenes.

He presents the book at Garden District Book Shop at 6 p.m. May 12. In advance of his appearance, he spoke briefly with Gambit about the prospects for current, beleaguered White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and what it takes to be successful in the role, which often is held by the one person who must say "no" to the president.

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Maple Street Book Shop to close for good June 17

Posted By on Mon, May 8, 2017 at 12:03 PM

Gladin Scott will close Maple Steet Book Shop June 17. It has been open since 1964.
  • Gladin Scott will close Maple Steet Book Shop June 17. It has been open since 1964.

Maple Street Book Shop, a mainstay of the New Orleans literary community since 1964, will close its doors for good June 17. Owner Gladin Scott, who had previously announced the store would close at the end of 2015, confirmed the news by phone today.

"When I decided to stay open then [in 2015], it was just on a month-to-month basis," Scott said. "Unfortunately business went in the other direction. This year has been in a sharp decline."

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in May

Posted By on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM

COFRIN LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • COFRIN LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

It's that time of year when everything slows down a bit. School lets out, the punishing schedule of Official New Orleans Holidays winds to its Festian conclusion and everyone starts to move just a tiny bit less.

If you, too, are slowing down, park yourself — with a hand fan, of course — at one of this month's readings and book events. Our picks for May are below.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pizza Poetry Project returns April 21

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Pizza Delicious is among several New Orleans pizza joints offering poetry from students age 6-18. - COURTESY PIZZA DELICIOUS
  • COURTESY PIZZA DELICIOUS
  • Pizza Delicious is among several New Orleans pizza joints offering poetry from students age 6-18.

In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the fourth annual Pizza Poetry Project from Big Class, a writing and literacy program for young students in New Orleans, serves poetry from students ages 6-18 on takeout boxes from several local pizzerias.

On the cardboard box with your pizza order comes a work from a young local writer. Participating pizza joints include G's Pizza, Garage Pizza, Mid City Pizza, Pizza Delicious, Reginelli's and Theo's.

This year, the pizza project runs alongside the inaugural New Orleans Youth Poetry Festival running April 19 and April 21-21. There's a youth open mic with Sunni Patterson and Pages Matam from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. April 19 at Tulane University's Lavin-Bernick Center, followed by a youth slam and mixer on April 21 and writing workshops and other events from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 22 at the New Orleans Public Library's Main Branch on Loyola Avenue. Visit the website for a full schedule and more information.

Since 2010, Big Class has served more than 3,500 students through its writing programs. From 2015-2016, the group published more than 30 publications featuring student work from more than 1,200 students. 

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Feminist writer Roxane Gay appears in New Orleans July 12

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 11:50 AM

JAY GRABIEC
  • JAY GRABIEC

Roxane Gay, the prominent feminist writer, cultural critic and pre-eminent voice of Woke Twitter, will appear at Octavia Books July 12 on a book tour for her new book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The much-anticipated book is expected to discuss body and food issues from the author's uniquely candid perspective. (If you aren't familiar with her work, try her periodic contributions to the New York Times op-ed page for an introduction to her thoughts on race and womanhood.)

This is a ticketed reading and participants must purchase a copy of the book to attend the event. More details are available via the bookstore's event announcement. Copies of the book are $25.99.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in April

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 12:08 PM

CCAC NORTH LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • CCAC NORTH LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

"April is the cruellest month," wrote T.S. Eliot in his inscrutable modernist masterpiece "The Waste Land." (Personally, I've always preferred "Preludes.") New Orleanians probably disagree — April means festival season, gleeful crawfish gluttony and those last nice sunshiny days before humidity turns the city into the interior of an unplugged refrigerator for six months.

If you can squeeze a reading or two onto your crowded festival calendar, here are a few picks for literary happenings around town.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

LSU sociologist discusses her book Pay to Play: Race and the Perils of the College Sports Industry

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 3:41 PM

Black athletes in America are finding themselves in a form of slavery in college athletic programs, LSU sociologist Lori Martin implies in her book, Pay to Play:  Race and the Perils of the College Sports Industry. - IAN MCCUSKER
  • IAN McCUSKER
  • Black athletes in America are finding themselves in a form of slavery in college athletic programs, LSU sociologist Lori Martin implies in her book, Pay to Play: Race and the Perils of the College Sports Industry.

Black athletes in America are finding themselves in a form of slavery in college athletic programs, LSU sociologist Lori Martin implies in her book, Pay to Play: Race and the Perils of the College Sports Industry.

Martin outlined for a Science Café crowd in Baton Rouge this week of the efforts at controlling the participation and compensation for black athletes.

Merchandisers, the NCAA, and top-tier universities, such as LSU, are part of a billion-dollar industry which excludes athletes from the profits.

Martin used George Mason University’s surprising run in the 2006 men’s basketball tournament as an example of the influence players can have on a university’s financial fortunes. Her research found the number of licensees of university products jumped from 40 to 53 after the team made a surprising run to the NCAA Final Four in spite of entering the tournament as an 11 seed. That increase amounted to about $100,000 in revenue, none of which went to the players.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Student zine, presentation March 30 highlight notable New Orleans black women

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:10 AM

Mwende Katwiwa (center) and program participants.
  • Mwende Katwiwa (center) and program participants.

In a time when pop culture is finally amplifying the voices and stories of more black women, participants in a Young Women with a Vision after-school program are finding heroes closer to home.

At a New Orleans Public Library presentation Thursday, they'll present a zine-style sample of their work so far on a book that ultimately will profile as many as 30 notable black women from New Orleans. The book, created almost entirely by the program's middle and high school students, will be published when the program concludes this academic year.

"We're living in this era of black girl magic, and  if you're a millennial of my age it hits you at the perfect time, but I realized ... a lot of that has not actually trickled down to young people," says program coordinator Mwende Katwiwa. "I was getting a lot of feedback from [the students] in school that they don't have access to a lot of black women who look like them. ... A lot of the people people that they see in places that are not home don't look like them and don't share similar experiences."

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