Chapter Member Dr.Miki Pfeffer recently spoke on Mark Twain, elucidating a letter from Samuel Clemens to Lady Gregory that hangs on the wall of Lambeth House. Miki’s new book, soon to be published, is Getting to Know Mark Twain through the Eyes of Grace King, A Southern Woman of Letters. On October 10 Miki read letters of Grace King and Mark Twain at the Center of Mark Twain Studies in Elmira, NY, and during that trip retraced the travel paths of King through many New England locations. On November 29 she will read Grace King’s birthday reminiscences at a woman’s club the writer founded.
Chapter Member Anne Boyd Rioux‘s Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters
is one of The Daily Mail‘s Top Books of 2018
. It was previously chosen as one of the best summer books of 2018 by Newsday
. Anne’s book was published by Norton to coincide with the 150th birthday of Little Women
, and has been reviewed widely, including at Publishers Weekly
. Anne is also the editor of the new Penguin Deluxe Anniversary edition of Little Women.
Chapter Member Sheila Cork was on this year’s committee for the MLA (Mississippi Library Association) Mississippi Authors Award, 2018, and announces that Jesmyn Ward won the fiction award for Sing, Unburied, Sing.
Chapter Member, and one of the founding members, Freddi Williams Evans
, award-winning author, independent scholar, arts educator and community activist, has a new venture, KNOW Card Games
. The latter combines her expertise in history, culture and education. A Humanities Hero
by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
(LEH), Freddi is the author of Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans
and an international authority on the topic. She has also authored three historically based children’s books.
Chapter Member Melinda Palacio
(shown below at Octavia Books for the New Orleans book launch of her latest poetry collection Bird Forgiveness)
was interviewed by Chapter Member Steve Beisner
for the Figure of Speech show on WRBH’s Radio for the Blind: hear the interview on Soundcloud
. Chapter Member Susan Larson
also interviewed Melinda on NPR’s WWNO
Chapter Member Patty Friedmann‘s latest works are the novel An Organized Panic (the manuscript took second place in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition) and the short-story collection Where Do They All Come From?, which includes the best of her stories, some prizewinners and some new.
Chapter Member Constance Adler led a session on Guided Meditation and the Creative Process at East Bank Regional Library in Metairie. Constance is the author of the memoir My Bayou, New Orleans Through the Eyes of a Lover. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications that include Oxford American, Utne Reader, Spy Magazine, Bayou, and Blackbird. Her profile of Mardi Gras float designer Henri Schindler in Gambit Weekly was honored by the Louisiana Press Association with a first place award in feature writing.
News from Board Member Pam Ebel: Pam joined the NOLA chapter board in the summer and hosted the first board meeting of the new year at her home on August 19. As an Assistant Editor for Bookwoman, Pam helped create and launch the new member/chapter blog in October. On September 25 she read from Fahrenheit 451 during a Banned Books Week program at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie. Pam attended the Heather Graham Writers’ for New Orleans conference held at the Monteleone Hotel over Labor Day weekend and is a volunteer faculty member for the seniors’ People Program teaching the preparation of effective speech writing.
Chapter Member Marti Dumas
‘s Jupiter Storm
is reviewed at Kirkus
Congratulations to Chapter Member Chris Smith! His story “Aloha, Ollie Bell” is a runner-up to the contest winner of this year’s Saints and Sinners Short Fiction Contest. It’s included in the anthology Saints and Sinners 2018: New Fiction from the Festival.
Board Members Susan Larson
and Dawn Ruth Wilson
have written chapters in New Orleans: The First 300 Years
. Susan’s chapter is “Literary Heritage” and Dawn’s is “Education”. Dawn writes a monthly education column for New Orleans
magazine. The book is published by Pelican Publishing.
Chapter Member Chris Smith
and Manager of Adult Programming at Jefferson Parish Library announces that the Reading Minds will discuss Don Quixote
at 7 p.m.
on 12 Monday night sessions during 2018 at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie
.This event is free of charge and open to the public. For more info, contact Chris at (504) 889-8143 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter Member Laura Lane McNeal‘s
first published novel Dollbaby,
a 2015 Pat Conroy Award Finalist, was recently optioned for film by Alison Eastwood (Clint’s daughter) and Gulfstream Productions. Announcement from the Hollywood Reporter coming soon!
Read two poems by Chapter member Alexandra Reisner
in the latest issue of Knicknackery
Chapter Member Andrea Panzeca is the author of poetry chapbooks Rusted Bells and Daisy Baskets and Weird… Joe Pesci.
Chapter Member Kathy Schrenk
‘s middle-grade novel is A Dog Steals Home.
Chapter Member Gina Ferrara
is the focus of the feature The Whole Story
in the latest WNBA Bookwoman newsletter
. Chapter members Susan Larson
and Melinda Palacio
talk about and review Gina’s work in the feature. You can also listen to Susan interview Gina here
Chapter Member Stacey Balkun
‘s chapbooks, Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak
and Lost City Museum
, have both been nominated for the 2017 Elgin Award
READ Posters from our May 2016 meeting:
Many thanks to Meghan Kelly, Country Day Lower School librarian, and Mary (Meb) Norton, Country Day School Director of Libraries, for hosting our meeting last year and for creating a fun poster
-making activity! Each member was asked to bring and pose with a copy of her favorite book. Pictured below are Membership Chair Sara Woodard
with My Reading Life
by Pat Conroy and Community Outreach Chair Linda Prout
with The Little Free Library Book
by Margret Aldrich.
Chapter Members’ Holiday Book Traditions:
from Member Miki Pfeffer: Last year’s Christmas card was fun to create. My book tree is topped with my own Southern Ladies and Suffragists; Julia Ward Howe and Women’s Rights at the 1884 New Orleans World’s Fair.
from Membership Chair Sara Woodard: Every year, I take out these faded holiday books, hand-written and illustrated by my two sons many years ago, and place them under the tree. (Yeah, they really love that!) I also add some local books, like the Cajun Night Before Christmas!
from Secretary Teresa Tumminello Brader: My Dickens Village started small and has grown (too!) big, but it remains centered around the story of A Christmas Carol (other Dickens’ novels are also represented). Though its details may change from year to year, I strive to keep the display as historically and literarily accurate as possible.
from Treasurer Karen Kersting: We observe the Advent tradition in my house with the Autumn/Winter volume of Phyllis Tickle’s “Divine Hours”. This book includes an entire section specifically arranged for the 4 weeks before Christmas. The selections of songs, prayers and quotes provides an opportunity for some reflective quiet in the midst of all the other preparations and celebrations. In the photo is an image of our Advent wreath & the book. It has become an oddly humorous family tradition that I can NEVER seem to find 3 purple candles of either the same size nor all in the exact same shade of purple. One year, I had no choice but to buy 4 white candles and embellish them with the correct-colored ribbon!
Co-founding Chapter member and Past-President Susan Larson
‘s essay about the A Christmas Carol
Read-Aloud tradition of the Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans is available near the end of the archived December 20th broadcast of The Reading Life.
Our Members Recommend
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
The Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones
Hollywood South: Glamour, Gumbo, and Greed by Linda Thurman
Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild
A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Fairendale series by R.L. Toalson
The Goldfinch by by Donna Tartt
The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
Constance Adler, head of the Bayou Writing Workshop, taught two 2016 WNBA writing contest prize-winners: Nicole Eiden and Rita Juster.
Anne Boyd Rioux’s Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review.
Susan Larson has co-written New Orleans’ Literary Landmark: Hotel Monteleone, detailing its role in several famous authors’ lives and works.
Laura Mullen’s widely reviewed and praised eighth book, Complicated Grief, is a hybrid collection of poetry, prose, memoir and essay.
WNBA-NOLA Social Media:
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