Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ann Dobie's new book 'Remembering Lafayette,' plus more historical new releases

            Ann B. Dobie, professor emerita of English at UL-Lafayette, has published a slice of Lafayette history in “Remembering Lafayette: 1930-1955.” The book covers the pre-war and war years, development of education and the university, local businesses such as Heymann’s department store, entertainment and making a living, to name only a few of her topics. She chose this period because of the town’s growth and “transformation,” caused by post-war prosperity and oil development.
            “‘Remembering Lafayette’ tells the stories of those changes, stories of how people lived and worked and had fun as the small Cajun town grew into one of the largest and most affluent cities in the state,” Dobie writes in the book’s introduction.
            The book contains memories of long-time residents, numerous photographs and a foreword by Mayor Joey Durel and is available at Champagne’s Grocery in the Oil Center, Vermilionville and Little Veron’s grocery store.

New releases
            The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival announced the publication of “Luxury, Inequity & Yellow Fever: Living Legacies and the Story of Old New Orleans” by photographer and New Orleans native Kerri McCaffety, released by their sponsor, the Hermann-Grima and Gallier historic houses. The book pairs 152 pages of photographs of both homes’ parlors and bedrooms with historical accounts, giving insight into antebellum New Orleans — a time of wealth, romance, slavery, hurricanes and disease. The book is available at the Exchange Shop at the Hermann-Grima House, independent area bookstores and Barnes & Noble. For more information, visit
            Two books on New Orleans by Pelican Publishing include “New Orleans Hurricanes From the Start” by David F. Bastian and Nicholas J. Meis, a look at the Crescent City’s long history of storms and lessons learned, and “Hell and High Water: The Battle to Save the Daily New Orleans Times-Picayune” by Rebecca Theim, a former staff writer.
            Carol Mills-Nichols discovered in 1999 that she was Jewish and has been studying Jewish families of the Gulf South for the past 15 years. She follows up “The Forgotten Jews of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana” with “Louisiana’s Jewish Immigrants from the Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France.” The book includes biographies of 638 immigrants to Louisiana who left from places in the Bas-Rhin, Alsace region of France. The book is available online and through the publisher, Janaway Publishing, Inc.
            In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, The Historic New Orleans Collection is releasing a book chronicling the history of an independent troop of cavalrymen from New Orleans titled “A Fine Body of Men: The Orleans Light Horse, Louisiana Cavalry, 1861–1865” by Donald Peter Moriarty. The author follows the Orleans Light Horse from its organization in February 1861 through its March 1862 muster into active service with the Confederate States Army to the war’s end in 1865. As the escort company to Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk and later Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, the Orleans Light Horse was an integral part of the Army of Mississippi and the Army of Tennessee. 
             O’Neil de Noux of New Orleans has published “The French Detective,” a novel that takes place in 1900 New Orleans in which a young Sicilian-American boy is kidnapped and the crime offers no leads. NOPD Detective Jacques Dugas is pitted against a crime boss and a terrifying henchman and hindered by lingering animosity between police and Sicilians along with violent confrontations between police and black citizens as the dreaded Jim Crow Laws go into effect. The book is available from

Bridge to Publication
            The Bayou Writers Group will host its annual conference Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Safe Harbor center of the University United Methodist Church, 3501 Patrick St. in Lake Charles. Titled “A Bridge to Publication,” the conference will address topics ranging from what social media can do for writers to the author-publisher relationship. Attendees will also have the chance to pitch their works to editors and agents and attend a special Q&A panel on what writers need to know after they have been published. Poetry and fiction written by the Bayou Writers Group will be available in “Gator Bites” on site and participants will have the opportunity to compete or vote in the “Best First Page Contest.” For more information and to register, visit

Cajun music history
            The Jeanerette Bicentennial Museum presents “A Journey through the History of Cajun Music” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, incorporating archival recordings from UL’s Center for Louisiana Studies’ Archive of Cajun and Creole Folklore and including a live performance. Chris Segura and Michael Martin will discuss the history of Cajun music from the earliest examples to the most recent innovations. 
            Segura is an archivist at UL and founding member of the Grammy-nominated Feu Follet as well as a member of the Lafayette Rhythm Devils. He has recorded 10 albums with his two bands, plus produced five albums composed of archive material for Festivals Acadiens et Créoles.
            Martin is director of the Center for Louisiana Studies and holds the Cheryl Courrégé Burguières/Board of Regents Professorship in History at UL. His publications include “Russell Long: A Life in Politics,” “Louisiana Legacies: Readings in the History of the Pelican State” (as co-editor), “Louisiana Beyond Black and White: Recent Interpretations of Twentieth-Century Race and Race Relations” (as editor) and “Historic Lafayette.” Martin is managing editor of the journal “Louisiana History,” published quarterly by the Louisiana Historical Association.
            The event is free at the Jeanerette Museum, 500 E. Main St. in Jeanerette. For more information, visit

Book events
            Michael Rubin will be signing copies of his novel, “The Cottoncrest Curse,” from noon to 2 p.m. at the LSU Barnes & Noble in Baton Rouge. The signing time may change according to the kickoff of the LSU v. Ole Miss game.
            Poetry Slam and open mic by UL’s Powerful Poets begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Black’s Café, 518 S Pierce St. Cost is $5. For information, contact
            Ben Wynne will be speaking and signing “In Tune: Charley Patton, Jimmie Rodgers,and the Roots of American Music” from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Lorelei Books, 1103 S. Washington St. in Vicksburg and at 5 p.m. Friday at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Miss.
            There will be a book discussion of “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at South Regional Library. In honor of the 40th anniversary of the movie by the same name, Dr. Matthew Teutsch, interim director of the Ernest J. Gaines Center, will lead a discussion about Gaines’ most popular novel and its cultural significance.
            James Wade will be speaking on his new book, The Pitot House:A Landmark on Bayou St. John," at the Louisiana Landmarks Society event from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave. in Metairie.
             James Nolan signs “You Don’t Know Me: New and Selected Stories” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
            Andi Eaton signs copies of “New Orleans Style” from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Costco in New Orleans.
            Addie K. Martin and Jeremy Martin sign copies of “Southeast Louisiana Food: A Seasoned Tradition” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Maple Street Books in New Orleans and at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the French Food Festival.