Please join Octavia Books and Garden District Book Shop who are combing forces to celebrate the launch of two key New Orleans novels — THE REVISIONERS by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton and ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS by Jamie Attenberg. Both books are largely set in contemporary New Orleans. The authors will present their books and discuss what it is like to write about this complicated place, among other topics. They will be in conversation with Anne Gissleson, author of THE FUTILITARIANS: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving and Reading.
This groundbreaking literary collaborative celebration will take place at Hotel Peter & Paul (2317 Burgundy Street) in their beautiful "church space" with support from the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Books association and the publishers, HMH Books and Counterpoint Press. Doors open with a reception at 6pm, and a presentation at 7pm. Following, there will be book signing on site with sales of Jami Attenberg's books handled through Garden District Book Shop and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton's book sales handled through Octavia Books.
Following her National Book Award–nominated debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton returns with this equally elegant and historically inspired story of survivors and healers, of black women and their black sons, set in the American South
In 1925, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free herself from slavery. Now, her new neighbor, a white woman named Charlotte, seeks her company, and an uneasy friendship grows between them. But Charlotte has also sought solace in the Ku Klux Klan, a relationship that jeopardizes Josephine's family.
Nearly one hundred years later, Josephine's descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother Martha, a wealthy but lonely woman who pays her grandchild to be her companion. But Martha's behavior soon becomes erratic, then even threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine's converge.
The Revisioners explores the depths of women's relationships—powerful women and marginalized women, healers and survivors. It is a novel about the bonds between a mother and a child, the dangers that upend those bonds. At its core, The Revisioners ponders generational legacies, the endurance of hope, and the undying promise of freedom.
Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, born and raised in New Orleans, studied creative writing at Dartmouth College and law at UC Berkeley. Her debut novel, A KIND OF FREEDOM, was long-listed for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award, won the Crook’s Corner Book Prize, and was the recipient of the First Novelist Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.
From critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg comes a novel of family secrets: think the drama of Big Little Lies set in the heat of a New Orleans summer
“If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am,” says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex—a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister--feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.
As Barbra fends off Alex’s unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex’s brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary’s wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor’s history, they must figure out a way to move forward—with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.
ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to—maybe, hopefully—break free. With her signature “sparkling prose” (Marie Claire) and incisive wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.
Jami Attenberg has written about food, travel, books, relationships and urban life for The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, Longreads and others. She has published seven books, including the New York Times bestseller THE MIDDLESTEINS. Her work will be published in a total of sixteen languages.
Anne Gisleson is the author of THE FUTILITARIANS, "a search for purpose and connection amid chaos ... a meditation on reading and a celebration of being" (NPR). Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Oxford American, The L.A. Times, The Believer, Ecotone and many other places. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.