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Lily Mar 8th, 2004 05:05 PM

Any recommended books about New Orleans that are not travel guides?

Message: I've read several novels by Anne Rice and wonder if anyone can suggest other novels or non-fiction books about New Orleans. I'll be travelling there late April and would like to know more about the city that's not in typical travel guide books although I'm reading those too! Thanks, Lily

TxTravelPro Mar 8th, 2004 05:14 PM

Years ago I read a book named New Orleans Legacy. It's a historical romance by Alexandra Ripley (1987)
I went to New Orleans a few months later. I really think I fell in love with New Orleans because a) It's awesome and b) the book connected me to the place.

abram Mar 8th, 2004 07:20 PM

Francis Parkinson Keyes lived in New Orleans for a time and wrote many novels that took place, at least in part, there. You can tour her house, where General Beauregard also lived.

ccolor Mar 9th, 2004 02:02 AM

For another view of the city try "Managing Ignatius" by Jerry Strahan - It's a great book about the infamous Lucky Dog vendors.

JeannieR Mar 9th, 2004 02:12 AM

Barbara Hambly,"A Free Man of Color", Fever Season","Graveyard Dust","Sold down the River", "To die upon a Kiss","Wet Grave"........all take place in early 1800s New Orleans, Benjamin Janury is a free man of color, a doctor&musician, left Paris to come home to New Orleans where his Mother and sisters live after his wife dies in's a quote from the New York Times book review for "Graveyard Dust"..."Seductive...Sweeps from lavish balls on elegant river plantations to voodoo rites in Congo Square and savage brawls in mean waterfront dives...January proves the ideal guide through these treacherous social strata"........these are marvelous books, facinating...I loved them all, even though they are hard to read sometimes because of the slavery and brutality going on at the time....but if you want a feel for the history of New Orleans, you will feel that you are right there while reading one of Brabara Hambleys books.....I may start reading them over again.....Husband is talking about going back to New Orleans for another visit......Jeannie

Callaloo Mar 9th, 2004 02:50 AM

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Captures the city like no other book I've ever read (and I lived there for 4 years).

sinehat Mar 9th, 2004 04:17 AM

There are a series of books by James Lee Burke with a lead character named Dave Robicheaux. They take place in and around New Orleans and the bayou country. Very gritty detective sort of stuff. Pretty good.

Neal_Sanders Mar 9th, 2004 04:30 AM

I strongly second "A Confederacy of Dunces". Although written 40 years ago, it wonderfully captures the spirit of the city and its characters.

bennnie Mar 9th, 2004 05:36 AM

Definately read "A Confederacy of Dunces" - it captures the city as far as this one time visitor could tell, it is very well written and its very funny in an off beat bizarre sort of way.

SusanInToronto Mar 10th, 2004 08:24 AM

I've read some of the James Lee Burke novels - pretty good.

DixieChick Mar 10th, 2004 09:35 AM

Another vote for Confederacy of Dunces. I'm laughing just thinking about it.

Lily Mar 14th, 2004 07:53 AM

Thanks everyone for the great book ideas. Lily

travelinwifey Mar 14th, 2004 08:01 AM

Lily, you will definitely want to do the 3:00 pm ghost walk of the Garden District by Haunted History tours. You are taken by 2 of Anne Rice's homes (currently on the market as Anne Rice is moving to the outlying town of Metarie) and see the Mansion that was the inspiration for The Withching Hour (my favorite Anne Rice book). The guide knows Anne Rice personally and can give you lots of great info. I'm jealous! Wish I was going back!

On a side note you may also want to visit Oak Alley plantation that was the backdrop for Interview of the Vampire. That tour is run by Gray Line bus tours.

JeanH Mar 14th, 2004 10:38 AM

After you read 'Confederacy of Dunces', you'll probably want to find the statue or Ignatius which is located in front of the former D. H. Holmes department store on Canal Street. I believe the property is now one of the Sonesta hotels.


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