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The Reading Life with Lauren Groff and Amy Bonnaffons

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This week on The Reading Life: Susan talks with fiction writer Lauren Groff, whose most recent books are “Fates and Furies” and the story collection, “Florida.” She will be the 35th Zale-Kimmerling Writer in Residence at Newcomb College Institute in March. We’ll also hear from Amy Bonnaffons, whose new novel is “The Regrets.”

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

Here in New Orleans:

Amy Bonnaffons reads from and signs “The Regrets,” Sunday, March 1, at 2 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.

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 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, and 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.

 March is Festival Month in the literary life here, with four on the way:

First up. The 17th Annual Jambalaya Writers Conference takes place Saturday, March 14, at the Terrebonne Parish Library, 151 Library Dr. in Houma. Headliners this year include Lisa Gardner, Caroline Kepnes, romance writers Carolyn Brown and Laura Drake, novelists Samantha Downing and Maurice Carlos Ruffin, children’s author Marti Dumas, and urban fantasy author Diana Rowland, and more.

The New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane University takes place March 19-21. Headliners (you’ll need a ticket for these events) include John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Lewis and Sean Tuohy in conversation. You’ll need a ticket for these three events.  Other writers include Erik Larson, Nicholas Lemann, Nancy Lemann, David Brooks, Samantha Power, Mika Breszinzsi and Joe Scarborough, Dave Eggers, Eddie Glaude Jr., Annette Gordon-Reed, Valerie Jarrett, Kiese Laymon, James Carville and Mary Matalin, Susan Rice. Saturday is a Family Day, headlined by kid favorite Dav Pilkey, creator of the Captain Underpants series. Saturday will feature family friendly activities, a full roster of children’s book authors and book giveaways. Check out bookfest.tulane.edu for schedule coming up in early March.

March 25-29 brings the 34th annual Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival. The weekend event includes theatrical productions, walking tours, master classes, musical performances and literary discussion by headliners Kathleen Turner, novelist Colm Toíbín, NPR’s Maureen Corrigan, Jami Attenberg, Andrei Codrescu, Beth Ann Fennelly, Jewelle Gomez, Saeed Jones, Jac Jemc, Sister Helen Prejean, Leigh Camacho Rourks, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, John Warner Smith, Katy Simpson Smith, Edmund White. Visit tennesseewilliams.net for schedule and tickets.

Saints and Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival takes place March 27-29, celebrating its 17h year. Featured writers this year include Jewelle Gomez, Irena Klepfisz, Trebor Healey, Alex Myers, Andrew Holleran, Felice Picano, Colm Tóibín, Edmund White, and many others. Visit sasfest.org for more details. 

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.