LSU Press has released the paperback edition of “Acadian Odyssey,” the 1955 book by Oscar William Winzerling that details the history of the Acadian expulsion. Winzerling, a Roman Catholic priest and educator who received his Ph.D. in history from the University of California–Berkeley, uncovered and researched documents in European national and private archives to explain the story of the expulsion of the Acadians from their homeland in Nova Scotia and the subsequent journey through America, England and France that led them to Louisiana. The new edition includes a foreword by Carl A. Brasseaux, Acadian history, author of more than 30 books and a former history professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Idealist Jay Mize believes he can start an organic farm among the Mississippi hills and throws his passion and finances into a farm beside a river. When the river floods his land and Mize loses everything, his wife leaves him and he struggles to stay alive. In the midst of his now paranoid agony, Mize discovers a dead body on his flooded fields and hides the body instead of reporting it to the authorities. Such begins Jamie Kornegay’s debut novel, “Soil,” deemed “the arrival of an exquisitely deranged new voice to American fiction” by author Jonathan Milles. Kornegay will read from and sign his haunting gothic Southern novel at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
L. Kevin Coleman became a flamenco guitarist at 17, performing for José Greco and his Spanish dance company, then attended the Royal Conservatory of Music. He graduated Tulane Law School in 1979 and has practiced law in New Orleans ever since. Coleman has published a novel, “Different Springs,” and he will offer a flamenco guitar presentation accompanied by a flamenco dancer, plus a reading and signing of his book at 6 p.m. Saturday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
Writers, freshen up the keyboard! Entries are now being accepted for the ninth annual Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, an award that includes a $10,000 cash prize. Sponsored by Baton Rouge Area Foundation donors, the Gaines Award honors outstanding fiction (novels or short-story collections) from rising African-American authors in honor of Louisiana native Gaines’ contribution to the literary world. The 2014 winner was Mitchell S. Jackson for “The Residue Years,” which was also named an Honor Book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Previous award winners include “The Cutting Season” by Attica Locke, “We Are Taking Only What We Need” by Stephanie Powell Watts, who also won a Whiting Writers’ Award and “How to Read the Air” by Dinaw Mengestu, who was selected as a MacArthur Fellow in 2012. Entries will be accepted through Aug. 15. For more information, visit www.ernestjgainesaward.org.
Louisiana Book News is written by Cheré Coen, the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “ExploringCajun 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.