Critical Mass

Thinking About New Orleans: An NBCC Reading by and for New Orleans Writers

By Jane Ciabattari

In the “Thinking About New Orleans” series on this blog, I have been tracking the experiences of writers displaced and disoriented by Hurriceanes Katrina and Rita and aftermath. Tomorrow night, December 3, the NBCC is sponsoring a reading by and for New Orleans writers.


December 3

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

126 Crosby Street between Lafayette and Broadway, half a block south of Houston

6:30 pm.-9 pm. Reading at 7 pm. Reception at 8:15. Bread pudding from 6:30 on.

 Edgar award-winning TOM ADCOCK, author of six novels, including THROWN-AWAY CHILD, set in New Orleans, reading from his short story,”Lawyers' Tongues,” in NEW ORLEANS NOIR, which “captures the chaos of the hurricane's wake,” says Publishers Weekly.

Memoirist JOSHUA CLARK, author of HEART LIKE WATER, about staying in

New Orleans through Katrina, Rita and aftermath; publisher of FRENCH QUARTER FICTION).

Louisiana poet and fiction writer LEE MEITZEN GRUE (FRENCH QUARTER

POEMS, GOODBYE SILVER,SILVER CLOUD: NEW ORLEANS STORIES), who has been serving as a cultural ambassador for New Orleans since Katrina.

New Orleans- raised novelist VALERIE MARTIN (author of the Orange award winning novel PROPERTY and TRESPASS),reading from A RECENT MARTYR,her novel set in an imagined New Orleans.

Edgar-award winning author JULIE SMITH, editor of NEW ORLEANS NOIR, and author of two detective series set in New Orleans.

New Orleans-born actressKIM SYKES,whose first published fiction will appear in QUEENS NOIR and BROOKLYN NOIR/3,two 2008 Akashic Books anthologies. Her first novel-in-progress, ANGRY BIRD, is set in St. Francisville, La. She'll be reading her story “St. Bernard,” which is set in the housing projects where she was raised.

Plus Mara's Homemade Restaurant's bread pudding in exchange for DONATIONS to K.A.R.E.S. (Katrina Arts Relief and Emergency Support),the fund to help New Orleans writers administered by the New Orleans Literary Institute. As a sign of ongoing support for New Orleans writers, a portion of the profits from “Heart like Water,” Joshua Clark's memoir, and from “French Quarter Fiction,” published by Clark's Light of New Orleans press, and from “New Orleans Noir,” is being donated to KARES. (Chin Music also supports KARES: $5 from each copy of their anthology, “Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans,” and Jason Berry's novel “Last of the Red Hot Papas,” bought from their website between now and Fat Tuesday will be donated to KARES.)