American Mardi Gras celebrations may have started in Mobile, although most of us now associate the day with New Orleans. In light of tomorrow’s festivities, what are your favorite books with a New Orleans setting?
One of my favorite English classes in college was all about New Orleans in literature. We read mostly classics, like A Confederacy of Dunces and The Moviegoer, although we did have some more contemporary readings, like the section in Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, Volume One about the time he spent in NOLA.
Clearly, the city continues to capture the imaginations of authors today. Just a few of the many recent books with a vivid New Orleans setting include:
David Fulmer’s mystery novels about Valentin St. Cyr, set in pre-WWI New Orleans.
Julia Reed’s memoir The House on First Street, about a woman who marries and makes a home in New Orleans—and what happens after Katrina hits four days later.
Isabel Allende’s latest historical novel, Island Beneath the Sea, much of which takes place in New Orleans at the turn of the 19th century (after the main character escapes Haiti during the Revolution).
The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue, a Lovely Bones-esque story of a woman who lives in “the between” after she dies in New Orleans of the 1920s.
More of This World or Maybe Another by Barb Johnson, a heart-felt collection of stories set in New Orleans.
New Orleans, Mon Amour, Andrei Codrescu’s collection of essays detailing his “decades-long love affair with the city.”
What do you have to add to this list?