Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What to Read on Fat Tuesday

When we headed to New Orleans in 2006 for the American Library Association's annual conference--the first major convention in the city after Hurricane Katrina--we vowed to spend money in the local bookstores. While browsing in the Garden District Book Shop, we ran into Tom Piazza--who makes his home in New Orleans.

Tom's Why New Orleans Matters, written immediately after the hurricane, is a powerful reminder of the mix of history, people, and culture that makes New Orleans so unique. "That spirit is in terrible jeopardy right now," he writes. "If it dies, something precious and profound will go out of the world forever."

Tom Piazza is also the author of City of Refuge--a novel that Richard Ford called, "an old-fashioned realistic novel of New Orleans, with all the sensuousness, all the flash-point tumult, the easy-yet-hard-won virtue of the city."

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