Susan Larson’s Book Offers Resource for a New Orleans’s Literary Love Affair
LSU Press publishes updated edition of “The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans”
BATON ROUGE – The literary tradition of New Orleans spans centuries and touches every genre; its living heritage winds through storied neighborhoods and is celebrated at numerous festivals across the city. For booklovers, a visit to the Big Easy isn’t complete without whiling away the hours in an antiquarian bookstore in the French Quarter or stepping out on a literary walking tour. Perhaps only among the oak-lined avenues, Creole town houses, and famed hotels of New Orleans do the lust of “Streetcar Named Desire,” the zaniness of “A Confederacy of Dunces,” the chill of “Interview with the Vampire” or the search of Walker Percy’s “Moviegoer” begin to resonate in all their richness.
Susan Larson’s revised and updated edition of “The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans,” available this month from LSU Press, is the definitive resource for understanding the city’s long love affair with literature. She not only explores the legacy of Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner through historical landmarks, but also draws in modern-day celebrities like Anne Rice and James Lee Burke and details the literary resilience of a post-Katrina New Orleans.
Whether readers are attracted to the relics of Kate Chopin’s southern society, or the Gothic subculture of Poppy Z. Brite, or the amphibious, socially striated future of Moira Crone, this comprehensive guide provides a key to knowing the books, authors, festivals, bookstores, and famed addresses that make the Crescent City a literary destination.
Susan Larson, the book editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune from 1988–2009, now hosts WWNO’s public radio program “The Reading Life.” As a founder of the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans, and a board member of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and the New Orleans Public Library, she continues to support and share New Orleans’s literary heritage.