NOLA BOOK AND LITERARY NEWS

from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.
Hold up, fools. Before yikesing, you might try reading.
Hold up, fools. Before yikesing, you might try reading.

A few days ago we posted a short blurb about Robert Olen Butler’s new novel, A Small Hotel, and suggested, based on some blogger’s speculation at the L.A. Times, that its content might resemble some of the lived circumstances the author encountered during a recent divorce. We found this short note from Butler in our inbox this morning:

Because I’m an admirer of your room220 blog, I feel I should give you some friendly advice.  That L. A. Times blogger is not a good model for you to follow.  Neither of you (she even admits it openly in her blog) has bothered to read my novel before suggesting it has parallels to my own recent divorce. Before yikesing you might try reading. There is not a single scintilla of similarity.  Just for the record.

Room 220 responds:

Mr. Butler,

First off, thanks for reading. I’m glad to count you among the seven people who follow Room 220. My mom, Wilbert Rideau, and a small cadre of devoted ex-girlfriends account for the others, I think.

But seriously, you’re right. I succumbed to the dumb Internet-age impulse of instantly and thoughtlessly reposting juicy gossip (though I’m sure you’re tired as hell of hearing about it by now, I didn’t even know about the divorce until I searched for information about your new book and the L.A. Times thing popped up). I’ve stooped as low as Gawker, which shames me to say.

I will take your advice and read before yikesing the next time such an opportunity arises. Retroactively, I’d like to read your new book and perhaps, if you’ll excuse our rocky introduction, do a Q&A with you about it for the site to help publicize your reading at the Garden District Book Shop September 15. I’ve been a fan of your work since I read Good Scent—you only hurt the ones you love, you know?—and it would be a pleasure.

Sincerely,
Nathan C. Martin

Hand-in-Glove Conference Guide

Hand in Glove Conference Guide
Essay by Amy Mackie, edited by Bob Snead, designed by Erik Keisewetter

This beautiful book, designed and printed by Erik Kiesewetter of Constance for the Hand-in-Glove Conference, includes a guide to all of the conference happenings Oct 17-20, 2013, an informative map of the artist run spaces on and around St. Claude Ave, and an extensive essay by Amy Mackie about the history of self organized contemporary art [...]

Photo by Sophie Lvoff in WE'RE PREGNANT

We’re Pregnant
Words by Nathan Martin. Photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano.

We’re Pregnant is a chapbook of short fiction by Room 220 editor Nathan C. Martin along with photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano. The book contains three of Martin’s short stories—which explore in morbid fashion anxieties related to sex, disease, marriage, and childbirth—with images inspired by the stories from each of the photographers.

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The People Is Singular
Poems by Andy Young and Photographs by Salwa Rashad

The People Is Singular, by local poet Andy Young and Egyptian photographer Salwa Rashad, is a personal response to the Egyptian Revolution. Rashad’s vision includes everyday people—Muslims and Christians, young and old, the foregrounded and the peripheral. Her perspective is from inside the events as they unfolded. Andy Young, a New Orleans poet married to [...]

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Curtain Optional
by Brad and Jim Richard

In both poetry and prose, Brad Richard explores the influence of his father’s work on his own, as well as the experience of growing up as the son of an artist while becoming an artist himself. Jim Richard is a professor of painting at the University of New Orleans and has exhibited at the Solomon [...]

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How to Rebuild a City
Edited by Anne Gisleson & Tristan Thompson w/ design and artistic direction by Catherine Burke

Beautifully designed, sometimes fun, always informative, How to Rebuild a City: Field Guide from a work in Progress, is a reflection of the many ways that New Orleanians have realized our way towards recovery, actively and creatively engaging with our communities.

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Bitter Ink
by Brian Zeigler & Raymond “Moose” Jackson

BBoth originally from Detroit, cousins Brian Zeigler and Raymond “Moose” Jackson began collaborating while Brian was harboring Moose in Vermont during Katrina evacuation. While their doodling proclivities may have made them rustbelt exiles from the rest of their autoworker family, together they produce seductive aphorisms of wit and weirdness that provoke, confound and celebrate a [...]