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20 Good Books About New Orleans

An Amazon Customer
 
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
"Probably the best and certainly the truest piece of fiction ever written about New Orleans. Everyone talks about how funny this book is, but it goes way beyond comedy."
Big Time
Big Time
"Sadly out of print, this colorful thriller about a hustler from the Lower 9th Ward avoids the usual Crescent City cliches."
Yellow Jack: A Novel
Yellow Jack: A Novel
"Rife with the decadence that mars so much New Orleans fiction, but Russell is talented enough to get away with it."
GRIM REAPER
GRIM REAPER
"Smart crime fiction by a native son with a flawless ear for local voices. Look for the other Detective Lastanza books too."
The Earl of Louisiana
The Earl of Louisiana
"In Louisiana, politics is our favorite spectator sport. Liebling's narrative is razor-sharp and frequently hilarious."
Say, Cap!: The New Orleans views of Ronnie Virgets
Say, Cap!: The New Orleans views of Ronnie Virgets
"Kitschy but enjoyable depictions of the kind of characters who only turn up in New Orleans."
Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans
Lords of Misrule: Mardi Gras and the Politics of Race in New Orleans
"There's a lot more to Mardi Gras than beads and beer. Some aspects of it are ugly in ways you'll never see on Bourbon Street."
Frenchmen Desire Good Children And Other Streets Of New Orleans
Frenchmen Desire Good Children And Other Streets Of New Orleans
"New Orleans has many interesting street names. Find out where they all came from."
Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in the Quarter
Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of Lucky Dogs and Life in the Quarter
"A true slice (link?) of downtown life."
Literary New Orleans in the Modern World (Southern Literary Studies)
Literary New Orleans in the Modern World (Southern Literary Studies)
"Don't miss W. Kenneth Holditch's insightful essay on John Kennedy Toole."
A Terrible Thunder: The Story of the New Orleans Sniper
A Terrible Thunder: The Story of the New Orleans Sniper
"A detailed look at one of the most painful events in our violent history."
Ignatius Rising: The Life of John Kennedy Toole
Ignatius Rising: The Life of John Kennedy Toole
"The first Toole biography. Sketchy in some areas, but a sympathetic portrait of a man who deserved better than he received from life and publishers."
Beautiful Crescent: A History of New Orleans
Beautiful Crescent: A History of New Orleans
"Probably the most readable history of the city. Also see Ms. Widmer's series, NEW ORLEANS IN THE 40s, 50s, etc."
Cheekie: Child out of the Desire
Cheekie: Child out of the Desire
"Life in the 9th Ward housing projects and out of them, well and honestly told."
Lafcadio Hearn's Creole Cookbook
Lafcadio Hearn's Creole Cookbook
"Many readers cherish Hearn's INVENTING NEW ORLEANS. I find it a bit too precious, and much prefer this very readable cookbook."
Uptown/Downtown: Growing Up in New Orleans
Uptown/Downtown: Growing Up in New Orleans
"Essays about New Orleans life that manage to be nostalgic without being saccharine."
Messiah: A Novel
Messiah: A Novel
"Not sure if anyone else read it this way, but I found MESSI@H a very funny sendup of New Orleans' excruciatingly hip alt.scene."
Gumbo Ya-Ya: A Collection of Louisiana Folk Tales
Gumbo Ya-Ya: A Collection of Louisiana Folk Tales
"An invaluable source of information about old New Orleans customs."
Ritz of the Bayou
Ritz of the Bayou
"Political corruption detailed in gorgeous, dreamy language."
Mafia Kingfish
Mafia Kingfish
"Did the Kennedy assassination conspiracy originate in New Orleans? I don't know, but this is a fascinating tale."