Louisiana Book News by Cheré Dastugue Coen

Published Sundays in The Daily Advertiser of Lafayette and Monroe News Star of Monroe.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ann Dobie's new book 'Remembering Lafayette,' plus more historical new releases

            Ann B. Dobie, professor emerita of English at UL-Lafayette, has published a slice of Lafayette history in “Remembering Lafayette: 1930-1955.” The book covers the pre-war and war years, development of education and the university, local businesses such as Heymann’s department store, entertainment and making a living, to name only a few of her topics. She chose this period because of the town’s growth and “transformation,” caused by post-war prosperity and oil development.
            “‘Remembering Lafayette’ tells the stories of those changes, stories of how people lived and worked and had fun as the small Cajun town grew into one of the largest and most affluent cities in the state,” Dobie writes in the book’s introduction.
            The book contains memories of long-time residents, numerous photographs and a foreword by Mayor Joey Durel and is available at Champagne’s Grocery in the Oil Center, Vermilionville and Little Veron’s grocery store.

New releases
            The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival announced the publication of “Luxury, Inequity & Yellow Fever: Living Legacies and the Story of Old New Orleans” by photographer and New Orleans native Kerri McCaffety, released by their sponsor, the Hermann-Grima and Gallier historic houses. The book pairs 152 pages of photographs of both homes’ parlors and bedrooms with historical accounts, giving insight into antebellum New Orleans — a time of wealth, romance, slavery, hurricanes and disease. The book is available at the Exchange Shop at the Hermann-Grima House, independent area bookstores and Barnes & Noble. For more information, visit http://www.hgghh.org.
            Two books on New Orleans by Pelican Publishing include “New Orleans Hurricanes From the Start” by David F. Bastian and Nicholas J. Meis, a look at the Crescent City’s long history of storms and lessons learned, and “Hell and High Water: The Battle to Save the Daily New Orleans Times-Picayune” by Rebecca Theim, a former staff writer.
            Carol Mills-Nichols discovered in 1999 that she was Jewish and has been studying Jewish families of the Gulf South for the past 15 years. She follows up “The Forgotten Jews of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana” with “Louisiana’s Jewish Immigrants from the Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France.” The book includes biographies of 638 immigrants to Louisiana who left from places in the Bas-Rhin, Alsace region of France. The book is available online and through the publisher, Janaway Publishing, Inc.
            In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, The Historic New Orleans Collection is releasing a book chronicling the history of an independent troop of cavalrymen from New Orleans titled “A Fine Body of Men: The Orleans Light Horse, Louisiana Cavalry, 1861–1865” by Donald Peter Moriarty. The author follows the Orleans Light Horse from its organization in February 1861 through its March 1862 muster into active service with the Confederate States Army to the war’s end in 1865. As the escort company to Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk and later Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, the Orleans Light Horse was an integral part of the Army of Mississippi and the Army of Tennessee. 
             O’Neil de Noux of New Orleans has published “The French Detective,” a novel that takes place in 1900 New Orleans in which a young Sicilian-American boy is kidnapped and the crime offers no leads. NOPD Detective Jacques Dugas is pitted against a crime boss and a terrifying henchman and hindered by lingering animosity between police and Sicilians along with violent confrontations between police and black citizens as the dreaded Jim Crow Laws go into effect. The book is available from Amazon.com.

Bridge to Publication
            The Bayou Writers Group will host its annual conference Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Safe Harbor center of the University United Methodist Church, 3501 Patrick St. in Lake Charles. Titled “A Bridge to Publication,” the conference will address topics ranging from what social media can do for writers to the author-publisher relationship. Attendees will also have the chance to pitch their works to editors and agents and attend a special Q&A panel on what writers need to know after they have been published. Poetry and fiction written by the Bayou Writers Group will be available in “Gator Bites” on site and participants will have the opportunity to compete or vote in the “Best First Page Contest.” For more information and to register, visit http://bayouwritersgroup.com.

Cajun music history
            The Jeanerette Bicentennial Museum presents “A Journey through the History of Cajun Music” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, incorporating archival recordings from UL’s Center for Louisiana Studies’ Archive of Cajun and Creole Folklore and including a live performance. Chris Segura and Michael Martin will discuss the history of Cajun music from the earliest examples to the most recent innovations. 
            Segura is an archivist at UL and founding member of the Grammy-nominated Feu Follet as well as a member of the Lafayette Rhythm Devils. He has recorded 10 albums with his two bands, plus produced five albums composed of archive material for Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.
            Martin is director of the Center for Louisiana Studies and holds the Cheryl Courrégé Burguières/Board of Regents Professorship in History at UL. His publications include “Russell Long: A Life in Politics,” “Louisiana Legacies: Readings in the History of the Pelican State” (as co-editor), “Louisiana Beyond Black and White: Recent Interpretations of Twentieth-Century Race and Race Relations” (as editor) and “Historic Lafayette.” Martin is managing editor of the journal “Louisiana History,” published quarterly by the Louisiana Historical Association.
            The event is free at the Jeanerette Museum, 500 E. Main St. in Jeanerette. For more information, visit JeaneretteMuseum.com.

Book events
            Michael Rubin will be signing copies of his novel, “The Cottoncrest Curse,” from noon to 2 p.m. at the LSU Barnes & Noble in Baton Rouge. The signing time may change according to the kickoff of the LSU v. Ole Miss game.
            Poetry Slam and open mic by UL’s Powerful Poets begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Black’s Café, 518 S Pierce St. Cost is $5. For information, contact PoeticSoul337@gmail.com.
            Ben Wynne will be speaking and signing “In Tune: Charley Patton, Jimmie Rodgers,and the Roots of American Music” from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Lorelei Books, 1103 S. Washington St. in Vicksburg and at 5 p.m. Friday at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Miss.
            There will be a book discussion of “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at South Regional Library. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the movie by the same name, Dr. Matthew Teutsch, interim director of the Ernest J. Gaines Center, will lead a discussion about Gaines’ most popular novel and its cultural significance.
            James Wade will be speaking on his new book, The Pitot House:A Landmark on Bayou St. John," at the Louisiana Landmarks Society event from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave. in Metairie.
             James Nolan signs “You Don’t Know Me: New and Selected Stories” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
            Andi Eaton signs copies of “New Orleans Style” from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Costco in New Orleans.
            Addie K. Martin and Jeremy Martin sign copies of “Southeast Louisiana Food: A Seasoned Tradition” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Maple Street Books in New Orleans and at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the French Food Festival.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recent booksigning brought together amazing authors

and Matthew Goodwin
            Booksignings are not my favorite thing to do.
            I love meeting readers, bookstores remain the ideal place to sit and relax (don't you love being surrounded by books?) and I always indulge in those delicious caffeinated drinks.
            But for those of us who are more introverted, hawking books to strangers can be intimidating.
            Recently, I was part of an “Author Expo” at the Lafayette (Louisiana) Barnes & Noble so I enjoyed company. And what impressive company it was!
Ed Reed, left,
and Dianne Alexander, right,
            University of Louisiana at Lafayette history professor Michael Martin, who heads up the Center for Louisiana Studies, was signing “Russell Long: A Life in Politics” next to Alan Gautreaux, author of “Italian Louisiana: History, Heritage and Tradition,” a fascinating look at one of the largest ethnic groups of the Big Easy.
            Edward Reed has just released his insightful memoir, “I Remember When” and Donna McGee Onebane had her family and friends on hand for her launch of “The House the Sugarcane Built: The Louisiana Burguieres.”
Donna McGee Onebane
with family and friends.
            Rosemary Smith has penned several children books starring an adorable lizard named Lizzy, while Dr. David J. Barczyk, a Lafayette chiropractor and CEO of All !N Wellness, hoped to spread his health gospel with “Wellness Wake Up Call.”
Chere Coen
            I had the pleasure of sitting net to Diane Alexander, the only survivor of the Derrick Todd Lee mass murders. This spiritual woman chalks up her miraculous rescue (her son arrived home in time to save her) to God in “Divine Justice: The Dianne Alexander Story.” Likewise, Celeste Goodwin recounts her son’s miraculous recovery from a tragic episode due to high blood pressure in “A Boy Back from Heaven.” Her son Matthew returned from a near-death experience with a new perspective on life and told his parents, at a very young age, what they believed to be heaven. And Angela Cortello published her inspirational book in an effort to help others, titled “Angel: The True Story of an Underserved Chance.”
             What impressive company! I take it back, I love booksignings.
             If you're in Lafayette this weekend, I'll be at the Lafayette Barnes and Noble from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, dressed in Halloween gear (I'm being brave) in honor of my "Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana" book and my latest titled, "Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History." Please come out and say hi.
            Note: Celeste Goodwin is the founder of the Baton Rouge based nonprofit, National Pediatric Blood Pressure Awareness Foundation, which advocates educating the need for blood pressure screening in children.

Cookbook Tuesday: New Orleans cuisine in a slow cooker

            I’m all about easy when it comes to cooking but I hail from New Orleans and live in Lafayette, surrounding by the best food imaginable, so ordinary meals don’t fit my bill. That’s why I was excited to see “In a While, Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes” by sisters Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller, a collection of recipes you can add to the slow cooker and let it do its magic, then return to a delicious meal that live up to Louisiana standards.
            The book is published by Pelican Publishing out of New Orleans and includes recipes that include barbecue shrimp, cochon de lait with beef broth (recipe below), mock turtle soup, grits and grillades and bananas foster.
            Clocking in at $21.95 (less online and from the publisher), “In a While, Crocodile” also makes a great holiday gift.

Mais Oui Cochon de Lait
1 4-5 pound pork butt
6 cloves garlic, whole
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon coriander
1 12-ounce can beer
1 12-ounce can beef broth
            Directions: Cut 6 evenly spaced slits in top of pork butt and insert a garlic clove into each slit. Place pork butt in the slow cooker.
            Spread mustard over the top of the meat.
            In a separate bowl, combine chili powder, pepper, and coriander. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly over the top of the meat.
            Pour beer around the pork, not over the top. Add enough beef broth to bring the liquid near the top of the pork, but do not cover.

            Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours or until pork falls apart.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wade's book on Pitot House out in time for anniversary

            Bayou St. John curving through New Orleans near City Park used to be a major sources for transportation to the colonial city. In 1708 Antoine Rivard de Lavigne built a house on the bayou, and James Pitot purchased the architecturally significant home in 1804. In 1964, the house was in danger of demolition and the Louisiana Landmarks Society moved the Pitot House and restored it. The Society will celebrate this 50th anniversary with a gala on Nov. 6.
            To get a sense of the history of this magnificent house, read the newly released book “The Pitot House: A Landmark on Bayou St. John” by James Wade, a member of the Society’s board of directors, where he is also the correspondence secretary, chair of the publications committee, preservation editor and docent at the Pitot House museum. The book is published by Pelican Publishing out of New Orleans.
            Wade will be speaking at the Louisiana Landmarks Society event (and signing books) from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave. in Metairie.

            To read a Q and A with the author, click here.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Louisiana Book Festival offers variety of 'Wordshops'

            Time is ticking to register for the five Wordshops hosted by the Louisiana Center for the Book, as part of this year's Louisiana Book Festival. These workshops will be given Friday, Oct. 31, in the State Library of Louisiana in Baton Rouge by Louisiana Book Festival author-instructors Jill McCorkle, Mark Dunn, Ava Leavell Haymon, Barbara Slate and Earl Swift. Topics covered include storytelling, teen-writing, graphic novels, poetry and organizing strategies.
Jill McCorkle
            Fellowship of Southern Writers member Jill McCorkle, author of four story collections and six novels, presents Finding the Story, a fiction workshop focusing on showing and telling the story one has always wanted to write. 
            Mark Dunn, the genre-busting novelist, leads young writers in Breaking the Rules: A Teen Writing Workshop for the Creatively Hyperactive, an exploration of the different non-traditional ways of expressing oneself with language.
Ava Leavell Haymon
            Comic artist Barbara Slate guides attendees on how to write and draw comic books and graphic novels as she presents You Can Do a Graphic Novel.
           Louisiana Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon facilitates novices and experienced participants alike in Making Poems out of Your Own Experience through translating memories into poems. Haymon has published four poetry collections. She also edits the LSU Press Barataria Poetry Series.
            Journalist Earl Swift, author of five books of narrative nonfiction, presents The Lovely Bones: On Organizing Your Research and Writing, offering strategies for organizing field notes, interview transcripts and documentary research. 
            For additional information or to register for WordShops, call (225) 219-9503 or visit LouisianaBookFestival.org/wordshops.html.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Writers' Guild of Acadiana hosts conference Oct. 18

             The Writers’ Guild of Acadiana will host a workshop titled “The Joy of Writing” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Covenant United Methodist Church, 300 E. Martial Ave., in Lafayette. The presenter will be Philip Levin of Gulfport, Miss., a motivational speaker, doctor, world traveler and prolific author. Levin will speak on character development through dialogue and action, how to start writing for local publications, writing memoirs, travel articles, and poetry and the importance of pace and place in fiction. The cost is $20 for Guild members, $25 for non-members and $10 for high school and college students.

Ghosts and flowers, oh my!
             I will be signing copies of my books, "Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana" and "Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Blooom Town History" from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Barnes & Noble, 5707 Johnston St. in Lafayette. 

Write on!
            There were numerous Louisiana winners in the 2014 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.
            First place for Novel was “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradel of Los Angeles, but finalists included “Advice for the Wicked” by Glen Pitre of New Orleans and “The Truth Project” by Tad Bartlett of New Orleans and J. Ed Marston of Chattanooga, Tenn.
            First place for Novella went to “Give Me You” by Kay Sloan of Cincinnati, Ohio, with second place to “Tickfaw to Shongaloo” by Dixon Hearne of West Monroe. Finalists included “Further” by Deborah Jannerson and “The Year We Froze” by Stan Kempton of New Orleans.
            For Non-Fiction Book, “Shakespeare’s Royal Bastard” by Lawrence Wells of Oxford, Miss., took first place with runner-up the “Redheaded Jewess of New Orleans: You Can’t Imagine This Life” by Cindy Lou Levee of Baton Rouge.
            First place Novel in Progress went to “The Morning After” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin of New Orleans and first place for essay to “Swerves” by Marilyn Moriarty of Roanoke, Va., with second place to “A History in Motion” by Ruffin.
            Claire Dixon of Baton Rouge took first place in Poetry for “Flutter and Whir” with second place “For John Parker” by Daniel Dwyer of New Orleans, now living in St. Louis.
            High School Short Story winner was Adia Heisser of New Orleans for “Phases” with runners-up Kimberly Pollard of Belle Chasse for “Fly Away.”
            For the full list, visit http://wordsandmusic.org/.

New releases
            Addie K. Martin and Jeremy Martin of New Orleans have published “Southeast Louisiana Food: A Seasoned Tradition” that looks at Louisiana culinary traditions from Vermillion Bay to the west, marshlands to the east, the Mississippi River to the north and the Gulf Coast to the south. The authors will sign their new book at 6 p.m. Monday at Pearl Wine Co., 3700 Orleans Ave. in New Orleans. The official book launch will be 6 p.m. Oct. 21 at Maple Street Books in New Orleans.  Addie Martin is a writer and blogger and publisher of “Culicurious,” and in partnership with husband Jeremy, they publish “Culture Curious,” an experiential travel blog. Jeremy Martin pens his own blog at “The Restless Lens.”
            John Kennedy Toole’s “The Confederacy of Dunces,” the 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in New Orleans, turns 35 this year. The novel features one of the most memorable protagonists in American literature, Ignatius J. Reilly, whom Walker Percy dubbed “slob extraordinaire, a mad Oliver Hardy, a fat Don Quixote, a perverse Thomas Aquinas rolled into one.” Its publisher, LSU Press has published a commemorative edition.

Grapes of Wrath
            John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” has been chosen as a Big Read of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. The event, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture, will take place from Oct. 14 through Nov. 14 in partnership with the Jefferson Parish Library and the New Orleans Public Library. Events include book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, cooking demonstrations and performances at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library, New Orleans Public Library’s main branch at 219 Loyola Avenue and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum’s new location at 1504 Oretha C. Haley Blvd. The “Days of Dust” kick-off party at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the new museum will include Depression-era food, a discussion by Liz Williams of Steinbeck’s novel and its relationship to food culture and Depression-era music by Todd Day Wait's Pigpen acoustic string trio.

Book events
            Former District Attorney for St. Landry Parish and the first D.A. elected to the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame Morgan Goudeau has been involved with Louisiana politics since he opened his law office in 1952. He will speak on “The Irony of Politics” at 2 p.m. today at the Alexandre Mouton House/Lafayette Museum, 1122 Lafayette St. in downtown Lafayette.
            Professional intuitive tarot reader Sean Rutherford will discuss the history and misconceptions about tarot, along with the meaning of individual cards at 7 p.m. Monday at the South Regional Library. This program is open to teens and adults.
            Joy Wilson will discuss and sign her book, “Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly, Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans. Wilson is the blogger behind JoytheBaker.com.
            Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen signs his new young adult novel, “Skink No Surrender” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
            Wayne Parent signs copies of Louisiana Field Guide: Understanding Life in the Pelican State at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
            Jeffery Renard Allen, poet, author and winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence in 2009, will read from his novel, “Song of the Shank” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Ernest J. Gaines Center in UL’s Edith Garland Dupré Library.
            Michael Ross signs “The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
            Andi Eaton signs copies of “New Orleans Style” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Hattie Sparks Boutique, 714 Adams St. in New Orleans.
            Jervey Tervalon of New Orleans now living in California signs his suspense novel “Monster’s Chef” at 6 p.m. Friday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.           
            Timothy Duffy signs “We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music,” at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Miss., and with live music from Major Handy at 6 p.m. Friday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
            Spooky Songs and Stories with Mike Anderson for ages 5 and up begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at North Regional Library and 2:30 p.m. Saturday at South Regional.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Steinbeck's 'Grapes of Wrath' used in New Orleans Big Read, event begins with 'Days of Dust' kickoff Oct. 17

            The Southern Food and Beverage Museum continues its Big Read celebration of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” with a series of events called “Days of Dust.” There will be an opening party at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17, 2014, at the museum located at 1504 Oretha C. Haley Blvd. in New Orleans.
            The Big Read in New Orleans is presented in partnership with Jefferson Parish Library and New Orleans Public Library and is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure and enrichment. New Orleans is one of 77 communities nationwide participating in The Big Read through June 2015. In honor of “The Grapes of Wrath” there will be events and a food drive benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank. Please bring your nonperishable dry foods and canned goods to each event and venue to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.
             Starting on Oct. 7, WRBH Reading Radio, 88.3 FM, will broadcast a reading of “The Grapes of Wrath” by Cameron Gamble, weekly on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. and again at 10 p.m.
             At 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at The Irish House, 1432 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans, Friends of the New Orleans Public Library and Southern Food and Beverage Museum will discuss “The Grapes of Wrath”:  Beer, and Prohibition in New Orleans. 
            At 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Southern Food and Beverage Museum, the “Days of Dust” kick-off party will feature an Americana string trio band, Todd Day Waits’ Pigpen, playing Depression-era music, as well as a talk by Southern Food and Beverage Museum’s Director Liz Williams about the Depression, food concerns and “The Grapes of Wrath” as experienced in New Orleans. 
            At 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23, the Main Branch of New Orleans Public Library at 219 Loyola Ave. will screen Part One of the Ken Burns documentary, “The Dust Bowl.”
             At 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at French Market of New Orleans there will be “Canning During the Depression.” Liz Williams of Southern Food and Beverage Museum will host a canning demonstration and discuss Depression-era food and farming practices.
            The Louisiana Book Festival Nov. 1 in Baton Rouge Dr. David Beriss, associate professor of department of anthropology at University of New Orleans; Liz Williams, director of Southern Food and Beverage Museum; and Alisa Plant, senior acquisitions editor at LSU Press, will discuss “The Big Read at SoFAB:  21st Century Perspectives on The Grapes of Wrath” at Louisiana Book Festival from 4 to 5 p.m. in the State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 3.
             At 6 p.m. Nov. 5 at Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library in Metairie Dr. David Beriss will deliver the keynote address, “The Milk of Solidarity and The Grapes of Wrath in the 21st Century.”
             A screening of “The Grapes of Wrath” begins at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, a film directed by John Ford and starring Henry Fonda. Henry F. Griffin, assistant professor in the department of film and theatre at UNO, will give a talk before the screening.
            The final event begins at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. “Pouring it Out:  The Depression, Prohibition and “The Grapes of Wrath” includes a talk by Elizabeth Pearce, cocktail historian, and a special cocktail!