Located in uptown
New Orleans, Louisiana
513 Octavia Street
(corner of Laurel)
Welcome to Octavia Books, where our well-read staff is always happy to provide friendly assistance. Thank you for choosing to let Octavia Books serve you and be your independent bookstore.
Please join us for a presentation and signing with photographer Richard Sexton celebrating his new book, CREOLE WORLD.
Shotgun houses . . . vibrant street scenes . . . grand villas and mansions . . . colorful facades—they’re all part of a historically rich, interconnected Creole world.
New Orleans is often hailed for its distinctive Creole heritage—evident in its food, architecture, and people—but it is far from alone. Its Creoleness may be unique to the United States, but New Orleans is part of an entire family of Latin Caribbean cities with similar colonial histories. Founded as New World outposts of Old World empires, these cities forged new identities from their European, West African, and indigenous influences—by turns inspired by, in defiance of, and adapted from all of them.
Photographer Richard Sexton has been intrigued by this Creole world since he first traveled to Central and South America as a young man. For him, the architectural and urban similarities among Creole cities compose a visual theme supported by endless variations both grand and humble, old and new, carefully curated and wonderfully slapdash. With more than two hundred stunning full-color photographs of Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, and Haiti, as well as New Orleans, Sexton gives readers a taste of everything the Creole world has to offer.
Setting the stage for Sexton’s images are essays by Creole-architecture scholar Jay D. Edwards and photography historian John H. Lawrence. Together, they take readers on a fascinating journey across time and place, through the ever-changing Creole world.
Richard Sexton is a fine-art and media photographer whose work has been published and exhibited worldwide. Born in Atlanta and raised in Colquitt, Georgia, his work has been published in Archetype, Harper’s, Photographer’s Forum, and View Camera magazines, as well as many others. Creole World is his thirteenth book, joining titles such as Terra Incognita: Photographs of America’s Third Coast , the best-selling New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence , Vestiges of Grandeur: The Plantations of Louisiana’s River Road , and New Roads and Old Rivers: Louisiana’s Historic Pointe Coupee Parish . He resides in New Orleans’s Faubourg Marigny.
Please join us for a reading and signing with writer Roy Hoffman featuring his new novel, COME LANDFILL.
Set along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the stories of three women and the men they love come together in this novel of war and hurricanes, loss and renewal.
The worlds of three women and the men they love come together in this novel of war and hurricanes, loss and renewal. Christiane, or Nana, reliving the past in her eighties, her granddaughter Angela, working at a Biloxi casino in her twenties, and their teenage friend Cam, the daughter of a Vietnamese shrimper, form a deep connection. As they face heartbreak, their bonds nurture and sustain them. Ordinary people impacted by the shifts of history—Come Landfall is a southern story with a global sensibility.
The Gulf Coast serves as more than just a setting—it is a character unto itself. With casinos lining one side of the highway, antebellum homes along the other, and a Vietnamese neighborhood up the road, here the old South collides with the new. From households along this stretch of US 90, lineages and emotional connections stretch all over the world.
Inspired by true events, Roy Hoffman’s novel has its seeds in the saga of his uncle, Maj. Roy Robinton, US Marine Corps, a WWII prisoner of war in the Philippines who disappeared as captive on a Japanese “hellship.” His young bride, back home, was ground down, waiting.
Christiane returns in her mind to the man she married at twenty-one—Rosey, a flyer with the Army Air Corps who was in the Philippines at the outbreak of WWII. Angela meets Frank, an airman at Keesler Air Force base who is proudly patriotic, deeply religious, and a student of weather. Cam falls in love with Joe, a Biloxi cop, and her own tumultuous story begins to interweave with that of Angela’s and Nana’s. What’s taken from Nana, Angela, and Cam (and so many others when storms make their landfall), what’s given back, and what’s kept forever sit at the heart of this intimate yet expansive novel.
Roy Hoffman is author of the novels Almost Family, winner of the Lillian Smith Award, and Chicken Dreaming Corn, endorsed by Harper Lee. He is the author of two essay collections, Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile and Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, Southern Living, and the Mobile Press-Register, where he was a long-time staff writer. A graduate of Tulane, he received the 2008 Clarence Cason Award from the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences. He teaches for Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program.
Please join us when author Cara Hoffman comes to present and sign her exquisite, unflinching new novel, BE SAFE I LOVE YOU.
Lauren Clay has returned from a tour of duty in Iraq just in time to spend the holidays with her family. Before she enlisted, Lauren, a classically trained singer, and her brother Danny, a bright young boy obsessed with Arctic exploration, made the most of their modest circumstances, escaping into their imaginations and forming an indestructible bond. Joining the army allowed Lauren to continue to provide for her family, but it came at a great cost.
When she arrives home unexpectedly, it’s clear to everyone in their rural New York town that something is wrong. But her father is so happy to have her home that he ignores her odd behavior and the repeated phone calls from an army psychologist. He wants to give Lauren time and space to acclimate to civilian life.
Things seem better when Lauren offers to take Danny on a trip to visit their mother upstate. Instead, she guides them into the glacial woods of Canada on a quest to visit the Jeanne d’Arc basin, the site of an oil field that has become her strange obsession. As they set up camp in an abandoned hunting lodge, Lauren believes she’s teaching Danny survival skills for the day when she’s no longer able to take care of him.
But where does she think she’s going, and what happened to her in Iraq that set her on this path?
From a writer whom THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW says, “writes with a restraint that makes poetry of pain,” BE SAFE I LOVE YOU is a novel about war and homecoming, love and duty, and an impassioned look at the effects of war on women—as soldiers and caregivers, both at home and on the front lines.
Cara Hoffman is the author of the critically acclaimed novel SO MUCH PRETTY. She teaches writing and literature at Bronx Community College and lives in New York City.