Reading Life: Chris Clarkson

Susan Larson talks to Chris Clarkson about his debut novel, “That Summer Night on French Street.”

Here are the hot topics in literary life this week

Banned Books Week continues with three events at Metairie’s East Shore Regional Library. All free.

Tuesday, September 27 at 7pm, Members of the Secular Humanist Society of New Orleans, the local branch of a national group, meet monthly at the library to discuss the challenged canon. Each reader will explain the situation of the challenge and then read the passage from the book. These books include: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood; To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee; Slaughterhouse-five Kurt Vonnegut; the hatred you give by Angie Thomas; awakening Kate Chopin; Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain; native son Richard Wright; Brave New World Aldous Huxley; and Joseph Anton: A Memoir Salman Rushdie

Wednesday, September 28, 7pm – Tom Lowenburg, owner of Octavia Books, and Elizabeth Ahlquist, owner of Blue Cypress Books, will discuss the resurgence of currently banned books and their impact on independent bookstores. Lowenburg would describe his testimony before Louisiana lawmakers several years ago.

Thursday, September 29 at 7pm, – Beth Deitch will read and interpret the graphic novel mouse Earlier this year, the McMinn County School Board in Tennessee banned the mouseArt Spiegelman, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, tells the story of his Jewish parents living in 1940s Poland and depicts his interview with his father about his experience as a Holocaust survivor.

Olivia Gray Pritchard will be signing her photobook, Mutts: A Celebration of Mysterious Half-Bloods, at Octavia Books on Tuesday, September 27th at 6pm.

Ashley Winstead, whose new book is The Last Housewives, speaks with For Your Own Good author Samantha Downing on Tuesday, September 27th at 6pm at Blue Cypress Books.

Ashleigh Bell Pedersen signed her debut book, The Crocodile Bride, on Thursday, September 29 at the Garden District Bookstore.

Coalition for Creative Communities presents Robin Marty, author of “The New Handbook for Post-Roy America: A Complete Guide to Abortion Legality, Access, and Practical Support,” to discuss her work, Thursday, September 29 at 6:30 pm on Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans.

Music industry entrepreneur Nabil Ayers at Three Keys at the Ace Hotel on Thursday, September 29th from 7-9pm.Free, but please reply on

Brian Noyes signs “The Red Truck Bakery Farmhouse Cookbook” on Friday, September 30 at 4:30pm at the Garden District Bookstore.

The Center for Women’s Rehabilitation and Transformation and 100,000 Poets of Change, in partnership with poets of all genders, will present the State Poet Laureate at the Center at 71667 Levison Street, Abita Springs, Saturday, October 1, from 3-5 p.m. Mona Lisa Saloi. Please sign in as early as possible for open reading. Admission is free, but the center may ask for donations at the door.

The Friends of the Jefferson Public Library Big Book Sale will be held Friday-Sunday, October 7-9,

At the Pontchartrain Center, Williams Blvd. By the lake, in Kenner. Open Friday-Saturday (October 7-8) 10am-7pm, Sunday (October 9) noon-5pm with free admission and free parking.

Community groups have the opportunity to participate in literacy efforts in Louisiana for free, hosting a prime-time reading program next year.

Applications will be made by October 17 at For organizations wishing to host prime-time home reading for ages 6-10 or pre-school reading for prime-time ages 3-5. Eligible organizations include schools, libraries, museums, churches, and others with a valid EIN#. Prime Time, a program of the Louisiana Humanities Foundation, provides an opportunity for families to come together to share food, read and discuss important topics commonly found in children’s books.

October 29 The upcoming Louisiana Book Festival has announced the 2022 Writing Wordshops faculty that will take place on Friday, October 28. They are Jericho Brown, Robert Olen Butler, Gerard Collins and Emily Nemens. By admission, register at or call 225.219.9503. Space is limited. WordShop’s schedule for October 28 is as follows:

9 am – noon

o Write about your fears, no matter what – Gerald Collins

o After the draft: Revise, edit and publish your work – Emily Nemens

1pm to 4pm

o Jumpstart Your Engines Poetry Workshop – Jericho Brown

o After Craft: The Process of Writing Fiction – Robert Olen Butler

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