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The Reading Life with Michael Zapata

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The Reading Life

This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with former New Orleanian, novelist Michael Zapata, whose impressive debut novel is “The Lost Book of Adana Moreau.”

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

Here in New Orleans:

Former state poet laureate Julie Kane discusses and signs her new poetry collection, “Mothers of Ireland,” Sunday, February 9, at 1:30 at Garden District Book Shop.

Robin Roberts and Leslie Wade sign “Downtown Mardi Gras,”with special guest Dianne Honore Destrehan, Monday, February 10, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.

The Garden District Book Shop Book Club meets Wednesday, February 12, at 6 at Garden District Book Shop to discuss “Nora Webster” by Colm Toibin and vote on books for the coming months. Each member may nominate up to two titles. Email to gdrayna@aol.com in advance.

Photographer Cheryl Gerber discusses and signs Cherchez la Femme: New Orleans Women, Wednesday, February 12, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books, and again, Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

The Octavia Books Book Club discusses “A Lesson Before Dying,” Saturday, February 15, at 10:30 a.m. at Octavia Books.

The New Orleans Public Library is sponsoring a Black History Month Student Poster Design Contest. All entries will be judged on creativity, artistic merit, and best representation of the 2020 Black History Month theme: “African Americans and the Vote." Winning posters will be displayed at all 15 Library locations. Copies of the winning posters will be given to winners and their schools. The deadline is Saturday, February 29 at 5 p.m., and to enter, pick up a form at any library. The New Orleans Public Library is also is again hosting an Adult Writing Contest for this Year's Black History Month, and it's open to any and all writers in Orleans Parish! Poetry, Stories, & Essays, on the theme of “Roots” are welcome. Deadline is Feb. 28.

Tulane University Special Collections announces a new exhibit: Where We Stand: Zines from New Orleans, on display now until April 3. at Tulane University Special Collections 2nd Floor Gallery, 6801 Freret Street, Joseph Merrick Jones Hall, on Tulane University’s Uptown campus. Hours are 10am–5pm Monday-Friday. Free admission. This exhibit featuring zines from the holdings of Tulane University Special Collections, Newcomb Archives, Amistad Research Center, and private collectors and creators, and was curated by Eli Boyne.

And in Baton Rouge:

Erica Spindler signs “The Look-Alike,” Saturday, February 15, at 2 p.m. at Barnes & Noble on Bluebonnet Blvd.

And coming up in Baton Rouge:

The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana will celebrate Black History Month with “Gather at the River: A Tribute to Ernest J. Gaines” on Wednesday, February 19, from 12:00 - 1:30 p.m. in the Seminar Center of the State of Louisiana, located at 701 North 4th Street, Baton Rouge. This program, celebrating the life and work of Gaines, will be hosted by his close friend, Gaines Center board member, and two-time Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque and will include Marcia Gaudet, Professor of English Emerita and founder and board president of the Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Cheylon Woods, Director of the Gaines Center; Louisiana State Senator Karen Carter Peterson; and Gaines’s wife, Dianne Gaines, among others.

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.