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Posts Tagged ‘Elysian Fields’

Presenting “What Fresh Hell? The Best of Levees Not War, 2005–2015”

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

The Long-Awaited “Dead Tree” Edition

WFH.alt.2mid“Mark LaFlaur’s genuine love and concern for the future of Louisiana shines throughout this collection of blog posts and interviews.” —Ivor van Heerden, former deputy director, LSU Hurricane Center, and author of The Storm

Dear Readers:

Departing briefly from the usual third person (the “editorial we”), I am very happy to announce the publication of “What Fresh Hell? The Best of Levees Not War, 2005–2015,” a concise, concentrated paperback of what I hope you’ll agree are among the best pieces in Levees Not War over the years since Hurricane Katrina.

So, you see, there’s a reason why you haven’t heard much from Levees Not War in recent months.

What Fresh Hell? brings together 10 years of blogging on war and peace; politics and society in the Obama and Bush-Cheney years; infrastructure; and the environment in a time of extreme weather. This New Orleans–dedicated, New York–based blog, founded in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina, now serves up liberal portions of sharp, spirited writing, grounded in a vision of the social contract—a society held together by honoring the Golden Rule—along with interviews with experts, tributes to activists and civil rights leaders, on-the-scene reporting from Occupy Wall Street, and more.


Click here for a PDF of the Introduction and Contents.

BestVectorRetroMicrophoneforInterviews_midArticles Include:

*  Is Katrina More Significant Than September 11?
*  Public Works in a Time of Job-Killing Scrooges
*  “Oil-Spotted Dick”: Cheney’s Oily Fingerprints in the BP Disaster
*  Omigod! Infinite Iraqi Freedom! We’re Never Leaving!
*  Occupying Wall Street with Nurses, Teachers, and the Rest of America’s Middle Class
*  Jindal: From Rising Star to Black Hole

Of particular interest to New Orleans area readers, there is a section titled “In and About New Orleans,” which includes selections on Rising Tide and Mardi Gras, a tribute to Greg Peters, Charity Hospital, and a piece on the New Orleans Burlesque Festival. You’ll also find interviews with Harry Shearer, Ivor van Heerden, and Mark Schleifstein; pieces on the BP spill; the SLFPA-E lawsuit against Big Oil; and a few slaps and punches at Bobby Jindal. 

The $14.95 paperback (354 pages) is illustrated, and by October 1 an eBook edition will be available for only $7.50.

Order now @ your favorite bookseller or online
ISBN 978-0988790933  |  Mid-City Books, $14.95

 

I hope you’ll like the book—and the blog.

Sincerely,
Mark LaFlaur

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“Mark LaFlaur’s Levees Not War has been a clear, progressive voice of warning and hope for New Orleans and the surrounding region in New York and the world since Hurricane Katrina, providing incisive news and commentary on the storm, its aftermath, and the rebirth of his hometown.” —Mark Schleifstein, Pulitzer Prize–winning environment reporter, The Times-Picayune, and coauthor of Path of Destruction

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Also by Mark LaFlaur, available from Mid-City Books:

EF_KirkusElysian Fields, a novel of New Orleans

Winner of the rare “double crown” of starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and named to Kirkus ReviewsBest of 2013.

Simpson Weems is a 36-year-old aspiring poet whose life has been on hold—to the breaking point. All he needs to fulfill his potential is to move to San Francisco, but he’s torn between his long-held dream of being a great artist and obligations to his aged, ailing mother and his emotionally volatile brother, the all-demanding Bartholomew. Will someone in his family have to die before he can get to California? And how might that be arranged?

“Engrossing . . . Readers will find the author’s portrayal of New Orleans convincing and his characters fascinating and fully developed.”Publishers Weekly

“A wholly involving story with Faulknerian characters in a fully realized setting.”Kirkus Reviews

Mid-City Books, 2013  |  $14.95

ISBN: 978-0615729862

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Louisiana Anthology Interviews Levees Not War

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Louisiana AnthologyUsually when Levees Not War is involved in an interview, we do the interrogating. But now, we’re happy to report, the tables have been turned: Levees Not War is the subject of an in-depth interview with the editors of the Louisiana Anthology, Bruce R. Magee and Stephen Payne, professors at Louisiana Tech in Ruston. The Levees Not War Q&A is the second of a two-part interview with blogger and author Mark LaFlaur, focusing on Elysian Fields, a novel of New Orleans, that was posted on June 28 and July 5. Click here for the iTunes podcasts.

Bruce and Stephen have kindly posted two pieces from Levees Not War on the Louisiana Anthology website, “Is Katrina More Significant Than September 11?” and “Disaster Capitalism Will Solve U.S. Budget Deficit? Ask New Orleans and Wisconsin” (original links here and here).

At about 39:30 minutes in, the interview includes a 5-minute shout-out to the Rising Tide conference on the future of New Orleans held annually in mid-September at Xavier University (Sept. 13, 2014)—affordably priced and always interesting—with mentions of prominent keynote speakers such as Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, Harry Shearer, John Barry, and David Simon. Click here for more information about Rising Tide 2014.

The interview was conducted by phone in late April. Since the Q&A with Bruce and Stephen, Elysian Fields’s presence in bookstores, especially in the South, has expanded significantly. The book is now available at the stores listed below: support your local independent bookstores. We hope you’ll spread the word among your book-readin’ friends, and we welcome your suggestions of indie booksellers near you who you think might want to carry Elysian Fields.

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Bookstores Carrying Elysian Fields

[ see complete, up-to-date list here ]

New Orleans: Crescent City Books, Garden District Book ShopMaple Street Book ShopForever New Orleans, and Toulouse Royale

Baton Rouge: Cottonwood Books, Barnes & Noble at LSU

New York City: Three Lives & Co., McNally-Jackson Books

Atlanta: Eagle Eye Book Shop (Decatur)

Birmingham: The Little Professor Book Center in Homewood

Mobile: Bienville Books

Jackson, Miss.: Lemuria Bookstore

Oxford, Miss.Square Books

Bay St. Louis, Miss.: Bay Books

Memphis: The Booksellers at Laurelwood

Nashville: Parnassus Books

thanxamazonChapel Hill, N.C.: Bull’s Head Bookshop (UNC)

Durham, N.C.: The Regulator Bookshop

Austin: BookPeople

Houston: Blue Willow Bookshop

Little Rock, Ark.: WordsWorth Books & Co.

Berkeley, Calif.: University Press Books

San Francisco: City Lights Books

Portland, Ore.: Powell’s City of Books

Seattle: Elliott Bay Book Company

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Workin’ in the Fertile Fields of Elysium

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

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Dear Readers of Levees Not War:

We want to apologize to those of you who have checked in lately and wondered about the infrequency of new posts—and to those who may have had trouble accessing the site. The technical, server problems have been remedied. And, on a happier note, the founder of this blog, Mark LaFlaur, has been very busy preparing his New Orleans–based novel ELYSIAN FIELDS for publication, due in early March from Mid-City Books. Here’s a brief description:

New Orleans, 1999. Simpson Weems is a 36-year-old aspiring poet whose life has been on hold—to the breaking point. All he needs to fulfill his potential is to move to San Francisco, but he’s torn between his long-held dream of being a great artist and obligations to his aged, ailing mother and his emotionally volatile brother, the all-demanding Bartholomew. Will someone in his family have to die before he can get to California? And how might that be arranged?

Written “on location” in New Orleans and set shortly before Hurricane Katrina, Elysian Fields combines menace, the comic strangeness of Flannery O’Connor, and hints of magical realism to convey vivid, original characters and a Crescent City that is both recognizable and more odd than visitors usually see.

Please go to marklaflaur.com or the Facebook fan page to learn more about the book—and, in about a month, we hope you’ll order it, either in paperback or for your e-reader. Soon the first chapter will be available at Amazon.com for free downloading or reading online.

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Praise for Elysian Fields

Best-selling author Christine Wiltz writes:

“In this compelling and mesmerizing debut novel, Mark LaFlaur has taken on New Orleans in a big way. Elysian Fields is real literature coming out of a real place. A great addition to the already substantial body of New Orleans writing, it’s a story of such originality that the familiar top layer of the city is peeled away. The local color here is handled just right—the depiction of the city’s neighborhoods and peculiarities is right on—but it’s the deeply individualized characters who anchor the story so solidly.”

Christine Wiltz, bestselling author of The Last Madam and Glass House

And novelist Moira Crone says:

“Fans of A Confederacy of Dunces and The Moviegoer will find much to admire in this well-written, funny, and melancholy—and thoroughly New Orleans—novel. Evocative, poignant, complex and well paced, Elysian Fields is full of delights.”

Moira Crone, winner of the Robert Penn Warren Award, Fellowship of Southern Writers, and author of The Not Yet

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Only a few mentions of ELYSIAN FIELDS will appear here—after all, Levees Not War is a blog about infrastructure, environment, war and peace, and progressive politics—but we hope you’ll excuse an author’s using one widely known platform to launch another New Orleans–dedicated project.

And we wish everyone a happy, happy Mardi Gras (Feb. 12, if you didn’t know).

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Please “watch this space” for more . . .

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Book cover photograph by Derek Bridges; street tile design by Evelyn Menge.