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The Reading Life with Steve Luxenberg

This week on The Reading Life:  Susan talks with Steve Luxenberg, author of "Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation."

February 17 calendar

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

Here in New Orleans:

  • Brad Vogel of the Walt Whitman Initiative presents a lecture, “Walt Whitman in Louisiana,” Sunday, February, 17, at 5 p.m. at 6330 St. Charles Ave. Free to Louisiana Landmarks Society members, by admission for others. For more information about the Whitman Bicentennial, go to
  • Nancy Penrose signs “A Dream and a Chisel: Louisiana Sculptor Angela Gregory in Paris, 1925-1928,” Tuesday, February 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Woldenberg Art Center, Freeman Auditorium, Tulane University, and again Thursday, February 21, at 6 p.m. at Dominican High School.
  • Lawrence Powell discusses and signs the new second edition of “Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, the Holocaust and David Duke’s Louisiana,” Wednesday, February 20, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Photographer Thomas Cole signs “Standing in the Shadows: New Orleans in Focus,” Thursday, February 21, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Novelist Maurice Ruffin, author of “We Cast a Shadow,” and poet James Nolan, author of “Nasty Water,” discuss their work Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.
  • One Book One New Orleans kicks off its 2019 series of free public events on Thursday, February 21, from 6-8 p.m. at Studio Be, 2941 Royal St., with a panel discussion on "Literacy as a Tool to Combat Incarceration" Featuring Charmel Gaulden, of Baptist Community Ministries, Sarah Omojola, founder of The Welcoming Project, Susannah Rosenthal of Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners, and writer Dr. Jerry Ward. The evening begins with a short reading by Zachary Lazar, author of Vengeance, the 2019 selection.
  • The New Orleans Writers Workshop will host a writers’ conference, “How to Get Published,” Saturday, February 23, from 9:30-5 p.m. at the Royal Sonesta. Hotel, 300 Bourbon St. In addition to structured sessions about marketing, working with agents and editors, as well as an overview of the publishing scene, there will be several agents in attendance who will listen to writers’ pitches. For the complete schedule and fees, check out
  • Poet Amy Trussell will read at the Maple Leaf Bar's storied "Everette Maddox Umpteen! Memorial Poetry & Prose Series," Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar.
  • Steve Luxenberg appears in in conversation with Walter Isaacson to discuss “Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation,” Tuesday, February 26, at 6 p.m.  at the New Orleans Public Library Main Library.
  • The Friends of the Jefferson Public Library hold their Big Book Sale March 14-17, 2019, at the Pontchartrain Center, Williams Blvd. at the Lake, in Kenner. Hours are Thursday through Saturday (March 14-16) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday (March 17) from noon to 5 p.m.

Coming up in Houma:

  • The Terrebonne Parish Library hosts its 16th Jambalaya Writers Festival March 9, from 7:30-6 p.m. at the Terrebonne Parish Library, 1515 Library Dr., in Houma featuring NYT bestselling author Beatriz Williams, Carolyn Brown, Alys Arden, Dacre Stoker, Nathaniel Rich, Laura Cayouette, Erica Spindler, Sheba Turk and others. There will be a pre-Festival Event Friday, March 8, at 6 p.m. at the Library, featuring Ken Wells, author of “Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou.” For tickets, go to
The Reading Life in 2010, Susan Larson was the book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayune from 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.