Books

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A wry Roxane Gay talks Hunger and healing at Jewish Community Center

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 9:59 PM

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Listening to Roxane Gay is a little like listening to the voice of the internet — dryly funny, pop culture-astute, versed in the latest controversies about avocados and the apocryphal sordid past of Lena Dunham's dog.

But where the internet is shallow, Gay has depth, which was on display in a wide-ranging conversation hosted by Octavia Books and conducted by emerging novelist Maurice Carlos Ruffin. In the cavernous yet disturbingly fluorescent auditorium at the Jewish Community Center July 12, Gay spoke about blackness, sexual assault, feminism, being from Omaha, tattoos, comic books, personal healing and the body image issues that are at the center of her recent, much-anticipated book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Books roundup: Five literary events in New Orleans in July

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 1:18 PM

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

Welcome back, friends, to the dog days of summer. After the conclusion of Essence Festival and the Fourth of July, New Orleans buckles down for a long stretch of uninterrupted, air-conditioned time in which we do mostly nothing and pray for no hurricanes. (Good times.)

But it's important to leave the house, once in a while, if just to keep up our social skills. Here are some July book events for those occasional sojourns.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Panel and book signing June 29 highlight gun violence survivors

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 9:40 AM

Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America. - COURTESY KATHY SHORR
  • COURTESY KATHY SHORR
  • Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America.

One of every five people pictured in Kathy Shorr's Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America was shot in an incident of domestic violence.

There's Shyrica, who was shot by her husband in a Walmart parking lot. Elizabeth was shot in the face by her estranged husband, who then killed her 18-year-old daughter. A Miami woman was shot in the parking lot of her apartment building by her husband, a veteran with PTSD.

These women all appear in the book, along with portraits of 98 other survivors. They represent just a small fraction of the thousands of people in America who are victims of gun violence each year, many of whom have no personal involvement with criminal activity. Shorr presents the book at a panel discussion at Treo Thursday night, where she'll appear with a trauma surgeon and some of of the people she photographed.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in June

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 11:40 AM

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

In book scene news this month, we bid a sad farewell to Uptown mainstay Maple Street Book Shop. It's a tough world out there for independent booksellers, who are faced with competition from behemoths like Amazon (which, in a move that adds insult to injury, opened its own brick-and-mortar bookstores recently).

Such developments are all the more reason to support your local book shops, and the writers who hang around them. Some June picks for literary events are below.

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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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