Sunday, April 26, 2015

History professors Joiner and White examine Shreveport's historical Oakland Cemetery

Gary Joiner and Cheryl H. White are history professors at LSU-Shreveport. Joiner is director of the Red River Regional Studies Center and host of a weekly radio program called “History Matters” for Red River Radio. White is the author of several books.
The two have published two books together on Shreveport history: “Historic Haunts of Shreveport” and the most recent, “Shreveport’s Historic Oakland Cemetery: Spirits of Pioneers and Heroes.” Their latest book offers an historic overview of the cemetery, then detailed information about the land’s inhabitants who range from mayors and Civil War soldiers to the first burial place for Jews in the city.
There’s the famous “Shreveport Madam” Annie McCune, two grandchildren of Pres. Zachary Taylor who died en route to Shreveport during the Civil War and Edward Jacobs who established the First National Bank (I once looked for his ghost with paranormal investigators at his old building, now the Spring Street Museum). Nathan Goldkind was murdered in a card game and his killer got off easy so his gravestone makes sure everyone knows that.
The saddest chapter of Oakland Cemetery lies beneath an earthen rise. The yellow fever mound contains 726 bodies who succumbed to the brutal disease when it ripped through the city in 1873. A hero of the time was Lt. Eugene Augustus Woodruff, a former Union soldier working on clearing the Red River from debris. He assisted the city during the epidemic at the sacrifice of his own life and he’s buried in Oakland as well.
Joiner also published books on the Civil War and Shreveport history including “Vanishing Scenes from the Red River Valley” and “Wicked Shreveport.” White is also the author of “Confederate General Leonidas Polk: Louisiana’s Fighting Bishop” and the upcoming “The History and Haunts of Louisiana’s Antebellum Plantations.”

New releases
Des Coroy of Lafayette works with people to help sharpen their communication skills to build intimate relationships. He was a regular presenter speaking on communication skills on radio and TV in Australia. Coroy has published a book on the subject, titled “21st Century Relationship Guide: Communicate Your Way to True Intimacy.” For more information on the book and author, visit
O’Neil De Noux has published “Nude in Red,” the third novel featuring NOPD’s half-Cajun, half-Sioux Detective John Raven Beau. The murder of a young woman draws detectives into a secret world of high-priced call girls with ties to the Mafia and a Romanian organized crime syndicate and more murder victims.

“Young Ladies of Good Family” by Anne Marie du Bois de Chêne, a collection of short stories written by Haitian born, and longtime Louisiana resident Ingrid L. Czichomski, has been translated into French titled  “Jeunes Filles de Bonne Famille.”

Book news
            Independent Bookstore Day is held annual in early May — this year it’s Saturday, May 2 — but in New Orleans this interferes with Jazz Fest. In fact, the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association will be operating a tent at Jazz Fest to raise funds for literacy. So New Orleans will be celebrating its independent bookstores one week later on Saturday, May 9. Events will include bookstores hosting authors. If you’re not in New Orleans, please visit your local independent bookstore and thank them for continuing to spread literary wonders — and keep us writers alive!
              Sheri Fink is up for a PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction for “Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital.” The book about a New Orleans hospital damaged by Hurricane Katrina was one of the New York Times’ Best Ten Books of the Year, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, the 2014 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Ridenhour Book Prize, the 2014 American Medical Writers Association Medical Book Award (Public/Healthcare Consumers), a 2014 Science in Society Journalism Award and the SIBA 2014 Book Award for Nonfiction, among others. 

Upcoming events
Author & Reader Con 2nd Annual ARC NOLA gathering and book signing with author panels, party, red carpet awards and more is July 30-Aug. 1 at the Holiday Inn New Orleans-Downtown Superdome. For information, visit

Louisiana Book News is written by Cheré Coen, the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at