Sunday, July 16, 2017

Emma Flick spotlights 'Snippets of New Orleans'

Emma Flick of Covington started toying with the idea of painting culture in a mish mash manner while living in Serbia. She recorded ancient emperors from art history books along with a café woman with “eccentric hair” and saw the beauty in that juxtaposition. The result was a style that “embodied equal cultural significance.” She offers this style of vignettes, this time about her home of New Orleans, in a new book titled “Snippets of New Orleans,” published by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press. 

The book spotlights the unique, fun and sometimes strange elements of the Crescent City, from Esplanade Boulevard mansions to a fried chicken survey of Tremé. There’s drink special at the Monteleone Carousel Bar, the “Seven People You See at Mardi Gras” and an explanation on how to peel crawfish. There’s Duck the biscuit maker at Mother’s who’s been there for 25 years, Happy Johnson who leads the All Souls’ after school program, Marie Laveau, once a voodoo priestess, and so much more. Flick admits holding elements past and present in “a single plane of vision” to be impossible but shown as fragments works.

“If we cannot hold all facets of a place in our mind at once, I think the next best thing is to honor our fragmented understanding, to see in ‘Snippets,’” she writes in the book’s introduction.

She also admits that she had to relearn a lot about New Orleans in creating the book. 

“I re-learned how beautiful and bizarre New Orleans is, how every street has a distinct personality,” she writes. “This book is my most earnest and honest reflection of New Orleans: triumphant and tragic, gaudy and gritty, elegant and ugly, rich and poor, a city that embodies all these and other polar opposites with a perverse kind of grace.”

For more information, visit www.ulpress.org.

Awards
Steve Rabalais’ book, “General Fox Conner: Pershing’s Chief of Operations and Eisenhower’s Mentor,” recently won the Army Historical Foundation’s Distinguished Writing Award in the field of biography for books published in 2016. Rabalais has had a lifelong interest in military history and in the biographies of lesser-known, but historically significant, figures. In his first published work, Rabalais presents the first full-length biography of Conner, a man he claims is one of the most significant, but largely forgotten, American military officers of the early twentieth century. Rabalais graduated from LSU and has practiced law for more than 30 years and is a founding partner of Rabalais & Hebert of Lafayette. For more information, visit www.generalfoxconner.com.

New releases
Most Louisiana residents are familiar with the nutria, a rodent introduced to the ecosystem years ago who has been busy eating our wetlands. Theodore G. Manno offers an examination of the nutria in “Swamp Rat: The Story of Dixie’s Nutria Invasion,” by the University of Mississippi Press.

Lashonda Beauregard follows up her novel, “The Harlem Renaissance Time Traveler's Diary,” with a new time travel story, “The Mirror in My Dorm Room.” Her latest is set in a fictional Louisiana town and centers around Justina Oceans, a college student whose ordinary life changes after she walks through an old mirror in her dorm room and goes back in time to 1932. Beauregard hails from Alexandria but attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Book events
Lafayette Science Museum Planetarium Curator Dave Hostetter will visit branches of the Lafayette Public Library with programs about the total solar eclipse, which is happening Aug. 21. Hostetter will visit the North Regional Library on Monday and the East Regional Library on Tuesday.

Author William C. "Billy" McDonald III discusses the book “The Shadow Tiger: Billy McDonald — Wingman to Chennault” Tuesday at the World War II Museum in New Orleans. McDonald wrote the book with Barbara Evenson, about his career as a pilot with legendary aviator Claire Lee Chennault. The event begins with a 5 p.m. reception, a 6 p.m. presentation and a 7 p.m. book signing. Register for this event online or over the phone at (504) 528-1944, Ext. 412.

Reine Bouton, a member of the faculty at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond and a short story writer, will discuss how to craft a short story at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

Ellen Gilchrist discusses and signs her book, “Things Like the Truth: Out of My Later Years,” a collection of nonfiction essays, at 6 p.m. Thursday at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.

It’s Family Movie Day beginning at 1 p.m. Friday at the West Ouachita Branch Library. Friday’s movie is “Cloudy With a Chance Of Meatballs,” appropriate for all ages. Visit www.oplib.org for more information.

Creative Coffeehouse: Open Mic Music & Poetry begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday at The Red Shoes of Baton Rouge. Musicians, singers and poets may share their original or favorite works in this supportive coffee-house setting. Call (225) 338-1170 to reserve a five-minute spot. Cost is $5.


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Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances and mysteries under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.