Wednesday, September 07, 2005

BOOKS: New Orleans Stories

I've never been to New Orleans. I've always wanted to visit, but never got around to it. And now, even if I do get there eventually, the dirty, decadent, romantic city of my imaginary travels is no more.

But I am grateful to the many writers who -- in their own wildly different ways -- have memorialized in print this amazing city. Thanks to them, countless people who may never have seen New Orleans will get to create a picture of it in their mind's eye.

In memorial to one of the greatest, most exciting, most inspiring cities on this continent, here's a list of some stories set in the Big Easy. I've been leafing through my copies and reading the descriptive passages and being sad.
(Please don't think I'm being callous or that, in commenting on fiction, I'm ignoring the very real-life tragedy that is still unfolding. I'm not. But after watching the horrific TV footage and reading the incredibly sad first-person accounts and donating to relief organizations, what else is there to do or say? I truly hope I haven't offended anyone.)

6 comments:

eninnej said...

I think this was a lovely idea for a post about New Orleans. The destruction of the city is such an awful loss in so many ways -- its people, its history and its culture made it such an unusual and inspiring place. While not in any way disregarding the horrible human costs of the disaster, I also feel sad about the damage that has been done to the spirit, the idea, of New Orleans, and I just want to say thanks for pointing out books I can turn to when I need help recalling it.

Melissa said...

To add to your list, many of Ellen Gilchrist's stories and novels are set in New Orleans. Reading them has made me want to go there if only to try the beignets!

Boschka said...

I know how you feel. My husband and I live in Houston and New Orleans has always been our all time favorite quick weekend getaway. It has been challenging here to see thed spirit of that fine city endure as we all try to recover and cope.

I'm already missing " Pat O'Brians"

Sigh

doris day said...

i've been lurking for awhile, i love your blog - and now you mentioned one of my favorite books (A Confederacy of Dunces) so i must post and tell you... please don't stop at 50 books!

jlr said...

I feel the exact same way about the artist James Michalopoulos (url below, sorry I don't know how to link). Except, of course, in a visual way, instead of literary. I always loved New Orleans and this artist because I felt he really captured the mood of the French Quarter especially.

www.michalopoulos.com

Rebecca said...

I know hoe you're feeling. I've been wanting to reread my Poppy Z. Brite books since last week, just so I can revisit those places that might not be there anymore.