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.
“Stunning, beautifully written, the best book on Louisiana I have ever read. Tidwell has captured the soul and heart of the Cajun people.” –James Lee Burke
In partnership with the Gulf Restoration Network, we'll welcome Mike Tidewell when he returns to Octavia Books on Monday, October 20, 2014, 6:00 P.M. to mark the eleventh anniversary of BAYOU FAREWELL: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast and to reflect on the current state of our coast.
The Cajun coast of Louisiana is home to a way of life as unique, complex, and beautiful as the terrain itself. As award-winning travel writer Mike Tidwell journeys through the bayou, he introduces us to the food and the language, the shrimp fisherman, the Houma Indians, and the rich cultural history that makes it unlike any other place in the world. But seeing the skeletons of oak trees killed by the salinity of the groundwater, and whole cemeteries sinking into swampland and out of sight, Tidwell also explains why each introduction may be a farewell—as the storied Louisiana coast steadily erodes into the Gulf of Mexico.
Part travelogue, part environmental exposé, BAYOU FAREWELL is the richly evocative chronicle of the author's travels through a world that is vanishing before our eyes.
"This is a remarkable work, one that should be read by every Louisiana resident and read twice by members of Congress and the state Legislature." –Ron Thibodeaux, from 2003 review in The Times-Picayune
Mike Tidwell is founder and director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the impacts and solutions associated with global warming. His most recent book, focusing on Katrina and global warming, is titled The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Race to Save America’s Coastal Cities. His documentary film, We Are All Smith Islanders, vividly depicts the dangers of global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. Tidwell has been featured in numerous national media outlets including NBC’s Meet the Press, NPR, the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, Politico, and the Washington Post. In 2003, Tidwell received the Audubon Naturalist Society’s prestigious Conservation Award. Two years later he received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana. A long-time resident of Maryland, Tidwell lives in Takoma Park with his wife Beth and son Sasha.
Please do join us for a presentation and signing with editor Christopher Schaberg along with other contributors of DECONSTRUCTING BRAD PITT.
In this exciting anthology, Schaberg and Bennett continue the work of DeAngelis, Negra, and Pomerance, once again demonstrating that an intensive study of a popular Hollywood film star will reveal not the margins, but the center of how American culture functions. The path charted by Richard Dyer 35 years ago has led to a flourishing of analyses of stardom, wonderfully executed here by Schaberg, Bennett, and their collaborators, who skillfully interrogate Brad Pitt's cinematic, popular, and political image. The first rule of Brad Pitt Studies is you MUST read and talk about _Deconstructing Brad Pitt!” –Walter Metz
The simple fact is that the utterance 'Brad Pitt' tends to prompt strong reactions—either reflecting hype, excitement, or revulsion concerning one or more of this actor's roles, or reflecting piqued interest in the various issues (be they political, intellectual, or social) that Pitt seems to stand for. In short, Brad Pitt is a productively perplexing subject.
DECONSTRUCTING BRAD PITT attends to these strong reactions, exploring what issues are raised and interrogated by the many manifestations of Brad Pitt. Several chapters look at how Pitt's roles challenge or perpetuate key myths prevalent throughout contemporary American culture; other chapters read Pitt's performances as allegories for dramas that are playing out in larger spheres, such as global capital, new media aesthetics, and celebrity humanitarianism. Still other chapters delineate the intersections of Pitt's celebrity status with his on-screen performances, arguing for expressions of self-awareness and meta-commentaries on celebrity culture and contemporary art practices.
Written in accessible prose and drawing from the expertise of a range of scholars and writers in different fields, Deconstructing Brad Pitt will unperplex the mysteries surrounding the star status and numerous roles of Brad Pitt.
Christopher Schaberg is Associate Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, USA, and author of The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight.
Join us for an evening with New Orleans writer James Nolan when he reads and signs his new interrelated collection of short stories, YOU DON'T KNOW ME.
One of the most vivid pieces of writing I have come across for some time. It leapt from the page. . . a very fine book indeed. You Don’t Know Me shows the range and power of James Nolan’s writing. His sharp eye and lively prose bring a whole world to light in the space of a few pages. Nolan is a superb writer and these highly atmospheric stories deserve a wide audience. -Alexander McCall Smith, author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels
In this collection, James Nolan swings wide open the courtyard gates of a city fabled both for its good times and bad. With ten new stories plus ten from his acclaimed previous volume, Perpetual Care, he introduces us to a quirky village of universal characters at crisis moments: white, black, and Hispanic; young, middle-aged, and elderly; straight and gay; women and men. We meet fatherless boys, Creole spinsters, and lying hustlers, a pregnant teenager, a concert pianist searching for his roots, a crooked homicide detective, a Carnival-parade king hiding in a Dunkin’ Donuts, a pistol-packing babysitter, and a codger who plots to blow up an overpass. Bookended by two post-Katrina stories, this collection takes us from the secretive hive of the French Quarter to decaying cemeteries, from Gentilly to Uptown to family dramas in the suburbs. With mordant dark humor, James Nolan paints a wry, disturbing but affectionately human portrait of his hometown for those who think they already know New Orleans, and what it means. But until you turn the addictive pages of these stories, you don’t—not really.
James Nolan is New Orleans' master storyteller. If Flannery O'Connor had been a bad boy living in the French Quarter, she'd have been James Nolan . . .These stories are wise, marvelous, funny. -Andrei Codrescu, NPR commentator and author of The Blood Countess
In his remarkable new collection, You Don’t Know Me, James Nolan is a magician who can simultaneously inhabit the psyches of an18-year-old pregnant Latina, a romantically-challenged 32-year-old gay man, a world-famous black pianist with a heart condition, and many other true New Orleanians. Nobody writes as knowledgeably about this city, unless you count John Kennedy Toole. -Julie Smith, author of the Skip Langdon mysteries
Nolan will also be reading from and signing his recent book of poetry, DRUNK ON SALT.
James Nolan’s novel Higher Ground was awarded a Faulkner-Wisdom Gold Medal and the 2012 Independent Publishers Gold Medal in Southern Fiction. Perpetual Care won the 2009 Next-Generation Indie Book Award for Best Short Story Collection. His poetry collections include the recent Drunk on Salt, as well as Why I Live in the Forest and What Moves Is Not the Wind, and he has published four books of poetry in translation, criticism, and essays. A regular contributor to Boulevard, his recent work has appeared in such publications as the Southern Review, Shenandoah, Utne, the anthologies New Orleans Noir and The Gastronomica Reader, and the Washington Post. The recipient of NEA, Javits, and two Fulbright fellowships, he has taught at universities in San Francisco, Barcelona, Madrid, Beijing, and New Orleans. A fifth-generation native of the Crescent City, he lives in the French Quarter.