Author Event

Turry Flucker and Phoenix Savage - African Americans of New Orleans

Event date: 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us

Arican Americans of New OrleansJoin us for a booksigning and presentation featuring Turry Flucker and Poenix Savage celebrating the release of African Americans of New Orleans, a pictoral history including more than 200 vintage photographs.

Highlights include:

  • Louis Armstrong, the fighting men of the Louisiana Native Guard, Ernest "Dutch" Morial and many other African Americans who contributed to the growth and development of New Orleans
  • Images of antebellum period through modern day Civil Rights movement
  • Social Aide and Pleasure Clubs, African American Carnival (Mardi Gras), Treme’ neighborhood on Claiborne Ave., Xavier Preparatory School, Mardi Gras Indians and the culinary history of New Orleans are all touched upon


Turry Flucker is the division director of the civil rights branch of the Louisiana State Museum and is a graduate of Tougaloo College. Flucker resides in New Orleans.

Phoenix Savage, a native of Philadelphia, maintains an active exhibition schedule as a sculptress and currently lives in Atlanta.

Wilbert Rideau - IN THE PLACE OF JUSTICE: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance

Event date: 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us

In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and DeliverancePlease join us for a booksigning and reading with Wilbert Rideau, the award-winning journalist who spent forty-four years in Louisiana prisons working against unimaginable odds to redeem himself, as he now tells the story of a remarkable life: a crime, its punishment, and ultimate triumph.

After killing a woman in a moment of panic following a botched bank robbery, Rideau, denied a fair trial, was improperly sentenced to death at the age of nineteen. After more than a decade on death row, his sentence was amended to life imprisonment, and he joined the inmate population of the infamous Angola penitentiary. Soon Rideau became editor of the prison newsmagazine The Angolite, which under his leadership became an uncensored, daring, and crusading journal instrumental in reforming the violent prison and the corrupt Louisiana justice system.

With the same incisive feel for detail that brought Rideau great critical acclaim, here he brings to vivid life the world of the prison through the power of his pen. We see Angola’s unique culture, encompassing not only rivalries, sexual slavery, ingrained racism, and daily, soul-killing injustices but also acts of courage and decency by keeper and kept alike. As we relive Rideau’s remarkable rehabilitation—he lived a more productive life in prison than do most outside—we also witness his long struggle for justice.

In the Place of Justice
goes far beyond the confines of a prison memoir, giving us a searing exposé of the failures of our legal system framed within the dramatic tale of a man who found meaning, purpose, and hope in prison. This is a deeply moving, eloquent, and inspirational story about perseverance, unexpected friendships and love, and the possibility that good can be forged under any circumstances.

 

Wilbert Rideau was editor of The Angolite, which was nominated for seven national magazine awards. While in prison, he was a correspondent for NPR’s Fresh Air; co-produced and narrated a documentary, “Tossing Away the Keys,” for NPR’s All Things Considered; collaborated on “In for Life” for ABC-TV’s Day One; and codirected the Academy Award–nominated film The Farm: Angola, USA. He is the recipient of a George Polk Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, among others. He was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2007 and has worked as a consultant with the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project. He lives in Louisiana.

 

Listen to the interview with Wilbert Rideau by Terry Gross as broadcast on Fresh Air: Doing Time, And Doing Good, In La.'s Angola Prison.

Tom Fitzmorris's Hungry Town

Event date: 

Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us

Tom Fitzmorris's Hungry TownTom Fitzmorris's New Orleans Food

Please stop by for a late afternoon booksigning and tasting from Tom Fitzmorris's HUNGRY TOWN: A Culinary History of New Orleans, the City Where Food is Almost Everything and the new and updated edition of Tom Fitzmorris's NEW ORLEANS FOOD: More Than 250 of the City's Best Recipes to Cook at Home.

Hungry Town is Tom's history of the New Orleans restaurant scene over the past forty years that as he's covered it. And the updated edtition of Tom Fitzmorris's New Orleans Food includes twenty-five new recipes not in the original edition. 

Actor Bryan Batt - SHE AIN'T HEAVY, SHE'S MY MOTHER

Event date: 

Saturday, May 8, 2010 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us

Bryan BattShe Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother by Bryan Batt

Please join us at Octavia Books for cocktails, reading, book signing and  Mothers Day weekend New Orleans book release celebration featuring Bryan Batt, SAG Award-winning actor who plays Sal Romano on "Mad Men," as he pays tribute to his mother in SHE AIN'T HEAVY, SHE'S MY MOTHER, a charming and hilarious memoir about beng raised by an eccentric, but very loving woman in 1970's New Orleans. 

I always knew that Bryan Batt was a wonderful actor, but now it turns out that he’s a terrific writer as well. It’s just not fair. In She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother, Bryan’s tales of his family, his New Orleans childhood, and his career are hilarious, beautifully observed, and touching. I’ve met Bryan’s mother, and he does her proud—they both deserve a float at Mardi Gras.
–Paul Rudnick
Bryan Batt has written an achingly funny and deeply moving portrait of his beautiful New Orleanian mother. This book is a cause for celebration, a Mardi Gras–sized celebration!
–Patricia Clarkson

Octavia Books has partnered with Tales of the Cocktail. the  internationally acclaimed festival of cocktails, cuisine and culture held annually in New Orleans. Founder and Executive Director Ann Tuennerman will be at the bookstore mixing Gayle Batt's favorite cocktail (read the book to find out what it is).

Click here to listen to the interview with Bryan Batt by WWNO-Radio's Fred Kasten as broadcast on "The Sound of Books." 

 

 

Actress Victoria Rowell - SECRETS OF A SOAP OPERA DIVA

Event date: 

Friday, May 7, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us

Victoria RowellPlease join us for a champagne toast to actress Victoria Rowell (Drucilla from "The Young and the Restless") who is returning to Octavia Books for to read from and sign her new novel, SECRETS OF A SOAP OPERA DIVA.

 

At age eight, Victoria Rowell won a Ford Foundation grant to study ballet and later went on to train and dance professionally under the auspices of the American Ballet Theatre, Twyla Tharp Workshop, and the Juilliard School before becoming an actress. She is the founder of the Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan, which provides scholarships in thearts and education to foster youth, and serves as national spokespersonfor the Annie E. Casey Foundation/Casey Family Services. Rowell is an award-winning actress and veteran of many acclaimed feature films and several television series, including eight seasons on "Diagnosis Murder," and  starred for thirteen years as Drucilla Winterson CBS's #1 daytime drama "The Young and the Restless." 

Victoria Rowell first came to Octavia Books in 2007 for the New Orleans launch of THE WOMEN WHO RAISED ME, her memoir of being raised in foster homes and a tribute to the women who lifted her up in marvelous and distinctive ways.

J&P Voelkel - THE JAGUAR STONES, BOOK ONE: MIDDLEWORLD

Event date: 

Monday, April 19, 2010 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us

THE JAGUAR STONESCome meet writing team John & Pamela Voelkel who will read and sign their latest, THE JAJUAR STONES, the first exciting installment in the new series, MIDDLEWORLD (recommended for ages 8-14)

It's an epic adventure that brings together ancient history and modern adolescent angst as it pits a pampered, pizza-eating, 21st century Boston teenager against the Deathy Lords of the Maya Underworld.

 

Aubrey Bart - THE BLUESIANA SNAKE FESTIVAL

Event date: 

Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us
Bluesiana Snake Festival by Aubrey BartYou are invited to a pre-release party and author reading & signing with Aubrey Bart featuring THE BLUESIANA SNAKE FESTIVAL, a book of experimental, rhythmic prose about the joy and beauty of life in the depths of the Crescent City as told by a familiar cast of characters in a range of uniquely New Orleans dialects.

 

Through a blend of voices—Big Jim Bullshit, Shushubaby, and Brooklyn Bob, to name a few—the musical voice of New Orleans is revealed in its varied dialects, grooves reminiscent of ragtime, jazz and blues. The result is a look into who these folks are, their ways and beliefs, their senses of truth, and of existence itself. Bart, a former New Orleans street sweeper, cabdriver and bartender, has skillfully recorded a local language that is defined just as much by rhythm and groove as by “where y’at” and “how’s ya mom’n’em?” 

Aubrey Bart was born in Baltimore in 1949, and in no time the American highway outdistanced his formal education. A former New Orleans street sweeper, cabdriver and bartender, Bart is a paperback writer at large in The School of Rock. This is his first novel. He lives in Maine.

 

Max Hardberger - SEIZED

Event date: 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us

SEIZED:  A Sea Captain's Adventures Battling Scoundrels and Pirates While Recovering Stolen Ships in the World's Most Troubled Waters  By Max HardbergerYou are invided to join us for author talk and signing with Max Hardberger celebrating the release of his remarkable book, SEIZED: A Sea Captain’s Adventures Battling Scoundrels and Pirates While Recovering Stolen Ships in the World’s Most Troubled Waters.

This book follows Max’s almost-too-amazing-to-believe true adventures repossessing stolen ships in hostile waters around the world—which he does for a living! He has been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, filmed a pilot for a History Channel series on a tramp freighter sailing the waters of the Caribbean, and a theatrical motion picture based on his life is currently in development.

When not on the high seas, Max Hardberger lives in New Orleans.

Max Hardberger



Patrick Thomas Casey - OUR BURDEN'S LIGHT

Event date: 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us
Our Burden's Light  by Patrick Thomas Casey
From the opening paragraph…I knew I was reading a writer of extraordinary talent. Patrick Thomas Casey is an exciting new voice in American fiction.
Ron Rash, author of Serena
Patrick Thomas Casey hunts big game: sex and love, memory and loss. And—with a piercing eye for detail, and ear for rhythm, and great empathy—he grabs ample fistfuls of each. This is brave and beautiful writing.
Josh Weil, author of The New Valley

Join us for a reading and book signing with Patrick Thomas Casey featuring his debut novel.

OUR BURDEN’S LIGHT, pushes literary writing to a new edge—combining rough, jagged imagery with lyrical prose. Set in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the first weeks of fall, the novel follows the devastating aftermath of small town violence. In one moment the peacefulness of the valley is disrupted forever, leaving imprints on the hearts of all those affected.

Casey’s Edenic story of being cast out of paradise is re-imagined through the lens of contemporary America through the stories of three people knotted together in their losses of innocence. The stages of grief are shown through their eyes—Robert Shelley, a mournful father who copes with the loss of his son; Evelyn, the young victim of a tragedy that leaves her scarred both physically and mentally; and Hayden, whose innocence is blown away with the single firing of a shotgun. They rely on each other to bring clarity and acceptance, but they must learn to heal individually.

Interspersed throughout the main storyline are sections titled “Children of God”—moving vignettes of lives affected by and tied to Shenandoah. The characters in these stories have also lost their innocence in various ways, such as the loss of a brother in the military, a broken childhood in the home of a single mom, or the inability to face a dying parent. The sections are beautifully tied together, showing the power of redemption, loss and love in a skillful debut by a talented new voice.

OUR BURDEN’S LIGHT provides an honest look at the human heart’s ability to cope with tragedy and grief as well as its capacity for forgiveness. Characters’ emotions will ring true in the hearts of readers, making OUR BURDEN’S LIGHT a beautiful novel sure to touch the soul.

 

PATRICK THOMAS CASEY graduated from Boston College where he was awarded the Cushing Award. His short stories have appeared in Other Voices, among other literary journals. Casey grew up in Washington, DC and now lives in New Orleans, LA.

Patrick Thomas Casey was somebody’s big secret until now…No one writes this good the first time out, do they? A literary achievement of the first order. Casey has breathed life into his desperate characters…I can’t forget them. I don’t want to.
John Dufresne, author of Requiem, Mass

Stacy Parker Aab - GOVERNMENT GIRL

Event date: 

Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

Octavia Books
513 Octavia St
70115-2055 New Orleans
us

Government Girl  Young and Female in the White House  By Stacy Parker AabYou are invited to meet Huffington Post columnist Stacy Parker Aab who will read and sign her new book GOVERNMENT GIRL:  Young and Female in the White House.  Aab gives us a glimpse into the culture of the Clinton White house through the eyes of an idealistic young female aid.  Her memoir provides insight of the dynamics between smart young women and the influential older men who often hold the keys to their dreams.

 

Stacy Parker AabStacy Parker Aab served for five years in the Clinton White House, first as a long-time intern in George Stephanopoulos's office, and later as an assistant to Paul Begala. She traveled as a presidential advance person, preparing and staffing trips abroad for the president and Mrs. Clinton, including visits to Abuja, Ho Chi Minh City, Okinawa, New Delhi, Ankara, Cologne, Merida, London, Florence, Moscow, Tokyo, St. Petersburg, and Addis Ababa. She also served as a special assistant for Gov. David Paterson in New York.

Stacy blogs for The Huffington Post and continues to chronicle stories for The Katrina Experience: an Oral History Project. She assists with the completion of The Hurricane Katrina Deceased Victims List. She also served as primary contributor to McSweeney's Voices from the Storm: The People of New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina and Its Aftermath.

 

A delightful page-turner...that will put the lucky reader within the feverish excitement of a hopeful and tragic time.
-Andrei Codrescu

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