This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. about his forthcoming book, “Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own.” Professor Glaude was scheduled to speak at the New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University, which has now been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 15 calendar
Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:
Here in New Orleans:
The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University, as well as the Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival and Saints and Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival have all been cancelled. Cancellations are frequent with the Coronavirus pandemic, so check before you go.
Emily Nemens signs her first novel, “The Cactus League,” and appears in conversation with Josh Wheeler, Monday, March 16, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.
Esoterotica presents Esoterotica: Into the Dark, erotic readings by local writers, Wednesday March 18, at 8 p.m. at the Allways Lounge, 2240 St. Claude Ave.
Kady Yellow discusses and signs “NEW ORLEANS: MURALS, STREET ART, GRAFFITI (Volume 1),” Thursday, March 19, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
The Saturday Writers’ Clinic for March features authors Bill Loehfelm, who will discuss how to create and sustain suspense and tension, and James Nolan, who will focus on point of view. The event takes place Saturday, March 21, with Bill Loehfelm speaking at 9:30, followed by James Nolan at 11 at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie.
Inspired by Tom Dent's essay "NOSTALGIA: St. Joseph's Day Celebrations, or the Origins of Super Sunday," in this year’s selection. “New Orleans Griot: The Tom Dent Reader,” One Book One New Orleans invites you to a discussion and cultural presentation by the Mardi Gras Indian Collective, Saturday, March 21, at noon at the Donald Harrison Sr. Museum, 1930 Independence St. Learn the history and rituals behind the St. Joseph's Day celebrations from those who fan the flame of tradition. Free.
The Friends of the Jefferson Public Library will conduct its semi-annual Big Book Sale from Thursday, April 2 to Sunday, April 5 at the Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd. at the Lake, Kenner. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday through Saturday, April 2 to April 4, and 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 5
Congratulations to Jessica B. Harris, who has been named the recipient of the 2020 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Harris is an author, editor, and translator of eighteen books. Her twelve works on food document the foodways of the African Diaspora—a topic on which she is considered a ranking experta. A native of New York City, Harris is Professor Emerita at Queens College/CUNY in New York City, where she was a professor for fifty years. Following in the footsteps of icon Leah Chase—she is the second African-American woman to receive the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award. Jessica B. Harris will be honored at this year’s 30th Anniversary of the James Beard Awards Monday, May 4, 2020 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
And we mourn the loss of William Griffin, such an important figure in New Orleans literary life for so long. He died in February at his home in Alexandria. For 20 years, he was a book editor, first for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, then for Macmillan. He specialized in religious books, and one of his special charges was the posthumous publication of the work of CS Lewis, including The Joyful Christian.” Griffin moved to New Orleans with his family in 1980, and kept up his literary work here. He was the longtime religious books editor for Publishers Weekly, and wrote several novels. Many will remember with affection "The Fleetwood Correspondence," his very funny response to "The Screwtape Letters" of C.S. Lewis. In 1986, he published “Clive Staples Lewis: A Dramatic Life.” He was a generous advocate and friend to many New Orleans writers who visited the Griffins’ book-lined home on Prytania St. He is survived by his wife, Emilie Dietrich Griffin, herself a beloved author of 18 books; their three children – Lucy, Sarah, and Henry, and their families, which include 5 grandchildren.