Susan Larson

Host of The Reading Life

Before becoming the host of The Reading Life in 2010, Susan Larson was the book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayunefrom 1988-2009. She has served on the boards of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and the New Orleans Public Library. She is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Book Association, which presents the annual Diana Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction.. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community. She is also the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans. If you run into her in a local bookstore or library, she'll be happy to suggest something you should read. She thinks New Orleans is the best literary town in the world, and she reads about a book a day.

Ways to Connect

This week on The Reading Life:  Ken Foster talks about “City of Dogs: New York Dogs, Their Neighborhoods, and The People Who Love Them.” It's a great way to look at a city! Poet Alison Pelegrin reads from and discusses her most recent chapbook, “Our Lady of the Flood.”

Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:

19th and early 20th century

  • The Grandissimes, by George Washington Cable
  • The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
  • Balcony Stories, Grace King
  • Goodness of St. Rocque, Alice Dunbar Nelson
  • The Mysteries of New Orleans, Baron von Reizenstein

TranscriptSusan Larson:  The 19th century in New Orleans literature is a different kind of animal. Tell us what kind of the books were coming along then. I think one of your favorites is The Grandissimes by George Washington Cable.
 

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with the 2018 winners of the Diana Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction.  Ellen Hart, whose most recent book in the Jane Lawless series is “A Whisper of Bones,” is the winner for the Pinckley Prize for a Distinguished Body of Work. We’ll also hear from Marcie Rendon, winner of the Prize for Debut Novel, for her book “Murder on the Red River.”

Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Kalamu ya Salaam, whose new book of collected writings from his long career is “Be About Beauty.” We’ll also hear from Tena Clark, songwriter and music producer and author of the new memoir, “Southern Discomfort.”

Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:

This week on the Tricentennial Reading List - Susan Larson continues her look at 300 great New Orleans books with geographer and author Richard Campanella, as they talk about books on New Orleans geography.

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Alex Beard, whose new children’s book is “The Lying King.” We’ll also hear from essayist Josh Wheeler, who’s the author of “Acid West.”

Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:

  •  Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names, by Sally Asher
  • Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children, by John Churchill Chase
  • New Orleans Streets: A Walker’s Guide to Neighborhood Architecture, by R. Stephanie Bruno
  • Cityscapes, by Richard Campanella
  • Bourbon Street, by Richard Campanella
  • The Incomparable Magazine Street, by John Magill, photos by Margot Landen

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with novelist Bernice McFadden, author of “Praise Song for the Butterflies,” a searing account of ritual servitude in West Africa. We’ll also hear from poet Anne Babson, whose new collection is “Polite Occasions.”

**Lagniappe Audio**

In this edition of the Tricentennial Reading List, Susan Larson continues her look at 300 great New Orleans books with Frank Perez, author of "In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bars", to talk about LGBTQ histories and anthologies.

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