Sunday, August 17, 2014

UL-Lafayette professor Michael Martin examines the life of Sen. Russell Long in new book

            University of Louisiana at Lafayette history professor Michael Martin examines the life and career of former U.S. Senator Russell Long in the biography, “Russell Long: A Life in Politics,” published by the University of Mississippi Press.
            The book follows Long, the eldest son of former Louisiana Gov. Huey P. Long, from his youth growing up in Shreveport, Baton Rouge and New Orleans to his election to Congress as part of the “Class of ’48,” a group that included Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey. Long served in the Senate for three decades, rising to chairman of the Finance Committee and democratic majority whip.
            Martin is the Cheryl Courrégé Burguières/Board of Regents professor of history at UL and director of the Center for Louisiana Studies. He is also managing editor for Louisiana History.
            He will speak on “Long: A Life in Politics” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, at the Jeanerette Museum, 500 E. Main St. in Jeanerette. Martin will discuss the Long family and how they have affected Louisiana politics and will autograph books following the program. For more information, call (337) 276-4408.

At Congrès
            Warren A. Perrin, Mary Broussard Perrin and Phil Comeau will release their new book on Acadian history on Monday in the Louisiana Pavilion at the Congrès Mondial Acadien 2014 in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. “Acadie Then and Now: A People’s History” and the French version “L’Acadie Hier et Aujourd’Hui: L’Histoire d’Un Peuple” is “an international collection of articles from 50 authors which chronicle the historical and contemporary realities of the Acadian and Cajun people worldwide,” according to Warren Perrin. The collection includes 65 articles on the Acadians and Cajuns living today in Louisiana, Texas, and Maine; in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec; and in the French regions of Poitou, Belle-Ile-en-Mer, and St-Pierre et Miquelon. Congrès Mondial Acadien is a worldwide Acadian event reuniting Acadians separated by the British expulsion from Nova Scotia beginning in 1755. The event is being held in the northern section of Maine where Acadians settled, plus parts of the New Brunswick and Quebec provinces of Canada.
            The Louisiana book launch will be at 11 a.m. Sept. 28 at Vermilionville in Lafayette, so check back to this column for more details.
            Brenda Trahan of Lafayette is also attending Congrès and will be hosting book events with Barry Ancelet, Zachary Richard, Richard Holledge, Amanda LaFleur, John Francois, Earlene Broussard, Kirby Jambon and other authors of Louisiana. The book events are sponsored by Louisiane-Acadie, Inc. and the Louisiana Office of Tourism. And John “Pudd” Sharp, the Center for Louisiana Studies assistant director for research, will screen his documentary, “Water on Road,” during Congrès festivities.

Tennessee Williams special
If you’re planning to attend the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival March 25-29, 2015, in New Orleans, here’s your chance to save money. A regular VIP all-access pass costs $500 but the organization is offering it for $400 if you purchase one now. The pass admits participants to every event, which includes almost 60 literary panel discussions, food and music events and theater performances. For information, visit http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/.

Book news
            Mary Gehman, creator of Margaret Media Inc. publishing out of Donaldsonville, has sold the publishing house to a group of New Orleans writers. According to Gehman, the new owners will continue with the 21 books Margaret Media has published over the past seven years and Gehman will return to writing her own.
            Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment have acquired the rights to all 10 books in Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles” series, including the upcoming “Prince Lestat.” The books feature Lestat de Lioncourt, an 18th century French aristocrat who becomes a vampire.

Fall sale announced
            The Friends of the Lafayette Public Library fall book sale will be Sept. 10-13 at the Heymann Convention Center Ballroom, with wonderful deals on books. Friends of the Library members may attend the first night of the sale (for Friends only) on Sept. 10. Membership is a deal — $5 a year — and you can join the night of the sale. For more information, visit http://friendsofthelafayettelibrary.org/. Since its inception, the Friends have donated $669,626.16 to the library system, according to their web site.

Book events
            LSU forensic anthropologist Mary Manhein, author of “Floating Souls: The Canal Murders” and “Bone Remains,” has been spending part of her summer addressing northern Louisiana public libraries on the human stories behind the skeletal remains of some cases she has studied. She will be a featured speaker at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug 21, at the Vidalia Convention Center, 112 Front St. in Vidalia. The event is free and open to the public.


Cheré Coen is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana,” both from The History Press, and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Her next book is “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.