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The Reading Life with Robert Azzarello and Robert Fieseler

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with Southern University English professor Robert Azzarello about his new book, "Three Hundred Years of Decadence: New Orleans Literature and the Transatlantic World."

We’ll also revisit Robert Fieseler’s “Tinderbox: The Upstairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation.”

June 23 calendar:

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

Here in New Orleans:

  • Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop presents Amanda Montell, author of Word Slut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language Sunday, June 23, from 1-3 p.m. at Reading Between the Wines at Pearl Wine Co.., 3700 Pearl Wine Co.
  • Narrative 4 (N4), in partnership with the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Art & Letters series, presents an extraordinary night of music and literature, Sunday June 23 at 6:30 p.m. at the NOMA. Eight international authors will read excerpts of their literary work accompanied by a musical composition created to match the piece and the author’s home region.
    The writers include:
  • Man Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James from Jamaica
  • National Book Award-winning author Colum McCann from Ireland
  • Sierra Club John Muir Awardee Terry Tempest Williams from Utah
  • New York Times bestselling author Ishmael Beah from Sierra Leone
  • Former Louisiana State Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque
  • Irish novelist Ruth Gilligan
  • Persian, Paris-based author Lila Azam Zanganeh
  • PEN Awardee Rob Spillman from New York
  • Zydeco superstar Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes of New Orleans will compose the musical pieces. He will be joined onstage by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, famed violinist from the Irish band The Frames, along with a New Orleans brass band and other local musicians. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP at education@noma.org or call 504.658.4128. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
  • S. Derby Gisclair discusses and signs “Early Baseball in New Orleans: A History of 19th Century Play," Tuesday, June 25, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.
  •  The Art of the City Book Club at the Historic New Orleans Collection continues with Anne Gisleson, author of “The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving and Reading,” in conversation with artist Michael Deas, whose work appears in the exhibition. Susan Larson facilitates the event, Wednesday, June 26, at 6 at the HNOC,  520 Royal St.
  • Robert W. Fieseler appears in conversation with New Orleans artist Skylar Fein and signs the paperback of “Tinderbox: The Upstairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation,” Wednesday June 26, at 6 at the Main Library, 219 Loyola Ave. This discussion commemorates the 46th anniversary of the Upstairs Lounge Fire and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. 
  • Jonathan Kline and Anna Tatelman are the featured readers at Fiction Night in the Blood Jet Poetry series, Wednesday, June 26, at 7:30 at the Dragonfly. 3921 St. Claude Ave.
  • Poet Kelly Harris, literary outreach coordinator for Poets and Writers, Inc., hosts an information session about resources from Poets & Writers Inc., Thursday, June 27, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Rosa Keller Branch Library and Community Center.
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.