New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writings from the City

Algonquin Books
5
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A “lovely collection” of essays by the NPR commentator about his beloved adopted city, both before and after Hurricane Katrina (Publishers Weekly).
 
NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu has long written about the unique city he calls home. How apt that a refugee born in Transylvania found his place where vampires roam the streets and voodoo queens live around the corner; where cemeteries are the most popular picnic spots; the ghosts of poets, prostitutes, and pirates are palpable; and in the French Quarter, no one ever sleeps.
 
Codrescu’s essays have been called “satirical gems,” “subversive,” “funny,” “gonzo,” and “wittily poignant”—here is a writer who perfectly mirrors the wild, voluptuous character of New Orleans itself. This retrospective follows him from newcomer to near native: first seduced by the lush banana trees in his backyard and the sensual aroma of coffee at the café down the block, Codrescu soon becomes a Window Gang regular at the infamous bar Molly’s on Decatur; does a stint as King of Krewe de Vieux Carré at Mardi Gras; befriends artists, musicians, and eccentrics; and exposes the city’s underbelly of corruption, warning presciently about the lack of planning for floods in a city high on its own insouciance. Alas, as we all now know, Paradise is lost, but here Codrescu also writes about how the city’s heart still beats even after 2005’s devastating hurricane.
 
New Orleans, Mon Amour is a portrait of an incomparable place, from a writer who “manages to be brilliant and insightful, tough and seductive about American culture” (The New York Times Book Review).
 
“Finely honed portraits of a fabled city and its equally fabled inhabitants. The author, who has called the Big Easy home for two decades, shows how, like some gigantic bohemian magnet, New Orleans attracts some of the world’s most talented, self-indulgent freaks. Codrescu finds himself quite at home there. He expertly weaves pages of New Orleans history through his stories of personal discovery and debauchery. . . . Readers can’t help coming away from reading it without an abiding hope in the ability of ordinary people, under the worst circumstances, rising to whatever challenges they face.” —Publishers Weekly
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About the author

A poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered, Andrei Codrescu is the MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University and the editor of the literary journal Exquisite Corpse.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Algonquin Books
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Published on
Jan 31, 2006
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781565127906
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY LOS ANGELES TIMES AND BUZZFEED • Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin’s ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. These never-before-collected adventures recount an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne, and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living consciousness.
 
Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there was Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals—in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg—whose true name is hidden from all he and Dunk encounter. Though more improbable heroes may not be found in all of Westeros, great destinies lay ahead for these two . . . as do powerful foes, royal intrigue, and outrageous exploits.
 
Featuring more than 160 all-new illustrations by Gary Gianni, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a must-have collection that proves chivalry isn’t dead—yet.

Praise for A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

“Readers who already love Martin and his ability to bring visceral human drama out of any story will be thrilled to find this trilogy brought together and injected with extra life.”—Booklist

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“Pure fantasy adventure, with two of the most likable protagonists George R. R. Martin has ever penned.”—Bustle

“A must-read for Martin’s legion of fans . . . a rousing prelude to [his] bestselling Song of Ice and Fire saga . . . rich in human drama and the colorful worldbuilding that distinguishes other books in the series.”—Publishers Weekly
Every place has its history. But what is it about New Orleans that makes it more than just the sum of the events that have happened there? What is it about the spirit of the people who live there that could produce a music, a cuisine, an architecture, a total environment, the mere mention of which can bring a smile to the face of someone who has never even set foot there?

What is the meaning of a place like that, and what is lost if it is lost?

The winds of Hurricane Katrina, and the national disaster that followed, brought with them a moment of shared cultural awareness: Thousands were killed and many more displaced; promises were made, forgotten, and renewed; the city of New Orleans was engulfed by floodwaters of biblical proportions—all in a wrenching drama that captured international attention. Yet the passing of that moment has left too many questions.

What will become of New Orleans in the months and years to come? What of its people, who fled the city on a rising tide of panic, trading all they knew and loved for a dim hope of shelter and rest? And, ultimately, what do those people and their city mean to America and the world?

In Why New Orleans Matters, award-winning author and New Orleans resident Tom Piazza illuminates the storied culture and uncertain future of this great and most neglected of American cities. With wisdom and affection, he explores the hidden contours of familiar traditions like Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, and evokes the sensory rapture of the city that gave us jazz music and Creole cooking. He writes, too, of the city's deep undercurrents of corruption, racism, and injustice, and of how its people endure and transcend those conditions. And, perhaps most important, he asks us all to consider the spirit of this place and all the things it has shared with the world—grace and beauty, resilience and soul. "That spirit is in terrible jeopardy right now," he writes. "If it dies, something precious and profound will go out of the world forever."

Why New Orleans Matters is a gift from one of our most talented writers to the beloved and important city he calls home—and to a nation to whom that city's survival has been entrusted.

The Devil is alive and well and living in America, Andrei Codrescu tells us, and with good reason. Nowhere else in the world--not even in Codrescu's native Transylvania--is he taken quite as seriously. When Codrescu gently derided the fundamentalist Christian belief in Rapture ("a pre-apocalyptic event during which all true believers would be suctioned off to heaven in a single woosh") in one of his commentaries on National Public, NPR received forty thousand letters in a protest spearheaded by Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition. Codrescu was warned to "stay away from eschatology."

Thankfully for us, he hasn't. In The Devil Never Sleeps, one of America's shrewdest social critics sets out to uncover the Devil's most modern and insidiously banal incarnations. Once easily recognizable by his horns, tail, and propensity for plague, today's Devil has become embedded in every fiber of our culture. Discussing everything from rock 'n' roll to William Burroughs to New Orleans bars to the Demon of Prosperity, Codrescu mockingly unmasks Old Nick as the opportunistic technocrat he really is. Embracing cell phones, cable access, and cyberspace, the ubiquitous Devil of secular culture embodies the true evil facing us today--banality.

In a world teeming with distractions, we are still more than capable of being bored to death. Tormented as much by insomnia and its ravages as the Devil (perhaps they are one and the same), we've become as twenty-four-hour society, swinging desperately between tedium and terror and sleeping fitfully, if at all. As Codrescu points out, the Devil never sleeps because we just won't let him.

With his characteristic charm and playful exuberance, Andrei Codrescu has successfully teased the Devil out from the darkest recesses and comic excesses of the human experience. The Devil Never Sleeps is his most wonderfully perverse book yet.

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