Jan 112019

Book signing: Rory O’Neill Schmidt, Rosary Hartel O’Neill, and Barret O’Brien
New Orleans Voodoo: A Cultural History
Greater Wilder

Saturday, Jan. 12
4:30-6 p.m.
Garden District Book Shop, The Rink, 2727 Prytania St.

Family Trifecta – Mother, Daughter, and Son: Rory O’Neill Schmidt and Rosary Hertel O’Neill, and Barret O’Brien discuss and sign their books, New Orleans Voodoo: A Cultural History, and Greater Wilder.

New Orleans Voodoo: There is no more compelling nor more spiritual city than New Orleans. The city’s Roman Catholic roots and its blended French, Spanish, Creole and American Indian populations heavily influenced the rites and rituals that West Africans brought to Louisiana as enslaved laborers. The resulting unique Voodoo tradition is now deeply rooted in the area. Enslaved practitioners in the nineteenth century held Voodoo dances in designated public areas like Congo Square but conducted their secret rituals away from the prying eyes of the city. By 1874, some twelve thousand New Orleanians attended Voodoo queen Marie Laveau’s St. John’s Eve rites on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. The Voodoo tradition continues in the Crescent City even today. With a forward written by Sally Ann Glassman.

Greater Wilder: Meri practices psychotherapy in New York, Guy teaches history in Mississippi, and their twenty-year-old son survives on a cocktail of antidepressants and rarely ventures outdoors. But when the boy abandons his meds and disappears on foot into America, Guy and Meri are forced to work together to untangle a stream of consciousness letter he sends from the road, a letter that plunges the couple back into their 30-year attempt to create a 21st century family.

Writing Workshop: Introduction to Fiction Writing with author Stephen Rea

Tuesday, Jan. 15
6:15pm – 7:45pm
Children’s Resource Center Library
13 Napoleon Ave.

Students will learn the basics of fiction writing with local award-winning author Stephen Rea, a native of Belfast, Ireland. All levels of writers are welcome to this class, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned writer looking for tips on how to expand and improve your skills. For ages 18 and older.

Book signing: Mesha Maren, Sugar Run

Thursday, Jan. 17
6-7:30 p.m.
Garden District Book Shop, The Rink, 2727 Prytania St.

Mesha Maren in conversation with Morgan Babst discussing her book, Sugar Run. Mesha will sign books afterward.

Jodi McCarty was only seventeen when she was sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter. After her release, she returns to the Appalachian mountains she left behind, searching for someone from the past. The homecoming proves a shock to the system in many ways. When she meets and falls in love with Miranda, the two try to make a new start, which may be impossible in a place that refuses to adapt and change. Sugar Run is the story of a very unique and particular woman, a queer woman from a working class Appalachian background, at once childlike and fierce, blind and wise, and above all else, very full of heart.

Book signing: Preston Lauterbach, Bluff City: The Secret Life of Photographer Earnest Withers

Thursday, Jan. 17
6 p.m.
Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St.

Award-winning author Preston Lauterbach returns to Octavia Book to present and sign his new book, Bluff City: The Secret Life of Photographer Earnest Withers.

Through intimate reporting and effortless storytelling, Bluff City captures both the tragic ironies of FBI espionage and the fertile contradictions of Memphis, Tennessee. The photographs of Ernest Withers — spy, artist, race man, and cagey black conservative—have never looked more meaningful.” — William J. Maxwell, author of F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature

Ernest Withers was a crucial witness to the cultural upheavals of the 1950s and ‘60s. A gifted photographer, he combined a storyteller’s eye and an uncanny ability to bond with his subjects, resulting in a powerful visual record of the Civil Rights Era. But he had a secret: while creating key images of the Civil Rights Movement, Ernest Withers was acting as an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In Bluff City, Preston Lauterbach examines this conflicted life and complicated legacy, grappling with the question of how a single artist could lionize and immortalize a movement he genuinely supported and simultaneously conspire with the very forces determined to crush it.

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