Located in uptown
New Orleans, Louisiana
513 Octavia Street
(corner of Laurel)
Welcome to Octavia Books, where our well-read staff is always happy to provide friendly assistance. Thank you for choosing to let Octavia Books serve you and be your independent bookstore.
In the depths of the Depression, the Federal Writers' Project interviewed over twenty-two hundred ex-slaves across seventeen states about their experiences under slavery and immediately after emancipation. Most of these interviewees were in their eighties or nineties and some over one hundred.
In CHAINED TO THE LAND, editor Lynette Ater Tanner has collected forty-two of the best Louisiana narratives of former slaves who lived in Louisiana at the time of their interviews or who had been enslaved in Louisiana but moved to a different state by the 1930s. The recollections of food, housing, clothing, weddings, and funerals, as well as treatment and relationships echo memories of an era, like no other, for which America still has repercussions today.Lynette Ater Tanner is co-owner of Louisiana’s Frogmore Plantation. Her historic tours and her research into plantation and African-American culture have earned Frogmore a Rural Tourism Award from the state of Louisiana and garnered praise from organizations including Rand McNally, AAA, and the National Park Service.
Please join us for a reading and signing with Natalie Baszile featuring QUEEN SUGAR, her debut novel.
A mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana
Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles.
They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart.
Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and initimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope.
Natalie Baszile has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers where she was a Holden Minority Scholar. An early version of Queen Sugar won the Hurston Wright College Writer’s Award, was a co-runner up in the Faulkner Pirate’s Alley Novel-in-Progress competition, and excerpts were published in Cairn and ZYZZYVA. She has had residencies at the Ragdale Foundation where she was awarded the Sylvia Clare Brown fellowship, Virginia Center for the Arts, and Hedgebrook. Her non-fiction work has appeared in The Rumpus.net, Mission at Tenth, and in The Best Women’s Travel Writing Volume 9. She is a former fiction editor at The Cortland Review, and is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Natalie lives in San Francisco with her family.
Where's Waldo? It’s no surprise that Waldo has chosen a return visit to hang out with his dog, Woof, near his favorite bookstore in beautiful uptown New Orleans for his vacation this July! The famous children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is out hobnobbing at 24 different independent local shops all around Octavia Books — from ice cream parlors, snowball stands, chocolate shops, and eateries to toy stores, hobby shops, movie theaters, and bike shops. Those who spot him can win prizes, including buttons, book coupons and more, with the top prize being a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books.
Anyone who wishes to participate can drop by Octavia Books to pick up a “Find Waldo Local in New Orleans!” sighting checklist with the names of all the participating business, and get their passport stamped or signed for each Waldo they spot starting July 1st.
The first 100 Waldo seekers to get their sighting checklists stamped or signed at ten or more sites can bring their checklists back to Octavia Books to collect prizes. Collecting store stamps or signatures at 15 or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to entry in a grand prize drawing at a special Waldo party at 5:00 p.m. on July 31. There is no charge to participate. And the hunt lasts for the entire month of July.
Here are the participating businesses: