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My New Orleans: Ballads to the Big Easy by Her Sons, Daughters, and Lovers

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From famous writers and personalities who call the city home, whether by birth or simply love, these pieces written in the wake of Hurricane Katrina serve as a timeless tribute to New Orleans. Sentimental, joyful, and witty, these essays by celebrated writers, entertainers, chefs, and fans honor the life of one of America's most beloved cities. Paul Prudhomme writes abo From famous writers and personalities who call the city home, whether by birth or simply love, these pieces written in the wake of Hurricane Katrina serve as a timeless tribute to New Orleans. Sentimental, joyful, and witty, these essays by celebrated writers, entertainers, chefs, and fans honor the life of one of America's most beloved cities. Paul Prudhomme writes about the emotional highs New Orleans inspires, Wynton Marsalis exalts his native city as soul model for the nation, while Walter Isaacson shares his vision for preserving his hometown's pentimento magic. Stewart O'Nan recalls the fantasy haze that enshrouded his first trip to the Big Easy when he was thirty and bowed to Richard Ford to receive his first literary prize. Poppy Z. Brite thanks New Orleans for helping her discover the simple pleasure of Audubon Park's egrets, and Elizabeth Dewberry explores what it means to work Bourbon Street as a stripper. My New Orleans captures the spirit of the city that was -- and that will be again.


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From famous writers and personalities who call the city home, whether by birth or simply love, these pieces written in the wake of Hurricane Katrina serve as a timeless tribute to New Orleans. Sentimental, joyful, and witty, these essays by celebrated writers, entertainers, chefs, and fans honor the life of one of America's most beloved cities. Paul Prudhomme writes abo From famous writers and personalities who call the city home, whether by birth or simply love, these pieces written in the wake of Hurricane Katrina serve as a timeless tribute to New Orleans. Sentimental, joyful, and witty, these essays by celebrated writers, entertainers, chefs, and fans honor the life of one of America's most beloved cities. Paul Prudhomme writes about the emotional highs New Orleans inspires, Wynton Marsalis exalts his native city as soul model for the nation, while Walter Isaacson shares his vision for preserving his hometown's pentimento magic. Stewart O'Nan recalls the fantasy haze that enshrouded his first trip to the Big Easy when he was thirty and bowed to Richard Ford to receive his first literary prize. Poppy Z. Brite thanks New Orleans for helping her discover the simple pleasure of Audubon Park's egrets, and Elizabeth Dewberry explores what it means to work Bourbon Street as a stripper. My New Orleans captures the spirit of the city that was -- and that will be again.

30 review for My New Orleans: Ballads to the Big Easy by Her Sons, Daughters, and Lovers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Melvin

    An eclectic collection of essays and poems from her residents, this anthology is a love letter to the Crescent City. Many selections are compelling--Poppy Z. Brite's piece is, like most of her writing, not to be missed. Others are lackluster. Nonetheless, it's well worth the time for those who find themselves enchanted by the rich culture of this bayou city. I found myself humming "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" for at least a day after finishing. An eclectic collection of essays and poems from her residents, this anthology is a love letter to the Crescent City. Many selections are compelling--Poppy Z. Brite's piece is, like most of her writing, not to be missed. Others are lackluster. Nonetheless, it's well worth the time for those who find themselves enchanted by the rich culture of this bayou city. I found myself humming "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans" for at least a day after finishing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ruby Jusoh

    What a beautiful short read! New Orleans: Ballad to the Big Easy by Her Sons, Daughters and Lovers. I was looking for a light read but this book instantly drew me in with the writers’ mesmerising depictions of the city. Such passion, such vibrancy and such love. For a brief moment, I was transported to New Orleans in all her glory.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Martina

    I picked up this book at Faulkner House Books in New Orleans. It's a beautiful collection of essays that was edited by one of the bookstore's owners, Rosemary James. A few stand out essays were written by Roy F. Guste Jr., Charmaine Neville, Julie Smith, and Bret Lott. This book is the collected memories and experiences of more than two dozen people who know New Orleans and can write about their love for the city in a way satisfies those of us who always wish we could be there more. I picked up this book at Faulkner House Books in New Orleans. It's a beautiful collection of essays that was edited by one of the bookstore's owners, Rosemary James. A few stand out essays were written by Roy F. Guste Jr., Charmaine Neville, Julie Smith, and Bret Lott. This book is the collected memories and experiences of more than two dozen people who know New Orleans and can write about their love for the city in a way satisfies those of us who always wish we could be there more.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Nice short tributes to the city from those who know her best in this post-Katrina paean. Pieces by Ella Brennan, Poppy Brite, Charmaine Neville, and Ron Shelton among my favorites. A bit sad as most of these writers were uncertain of New Orleans' recovery happening at all and pretty sure it wouldn't come back as good as it was. I haven't been back since 1993 so I couldn't say. Nice short tributes to the city from those who know her best in this post-Katrina paean. Pieces by Ella Brennan, Poppy Brite, Charmaine Neville, and Ron Shelton among my favorites. A bit sad as most of these writers were uncertain of New Orleans' recovery happening at all and pretty sure it wouldn't come back as good as it was. I haven't been back since 1993 so I couldn't say.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    If you love New Orleans, you'll enjoy this collection of essays. Many of them are poignant and describe New Orleans perfectly. However the tone of all of the essays was the same. I felt like the editor had a hand in making them all very uniform. That being said, it's still a worthwhile read if you love New Orleans, or even if you're thinking about visiting one day. If you love New Orleans, you'll enjoy this collection of essays. Many of them are poignant and describe New Orleans perfectly. However the tone of all of the essays was the same. I felt like the editor had a hand in making them all very uniform. That being said, it's still a worthwhile read if you love New Orleans, or even if you're thinking about visiting one day.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cristina

    I think this was the best possible book I could have read for insight in to NOLA before our trip. Essays are written by a variety of locals, implants, and visitors and touch on the history, the culture, the food, the music and the heartbreak of New Orleans. I knew how much I would love NOLA as I was reading this book and it opened my eyes to things I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. I think this was the best possible book I could have read for insight in to NOLA before our trip. Essays are written by a variety of locals, implants, and visitors and touch on the history, the culture, the food, the music and the heartbreak of New Orleans. I knew how much I would love NOLA as I was reading this book and it opened my eyes to things I wouldn't have noticed otherwise.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    Just as the title says.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kennedy

    If you want to get a sense of the City, this isn't a bad place to start. Christopher Rice's essay about Mardi Gras is required reading. If you want to get a sense of the City, this isn't a bad place to start. Christopher Rice's essay about Mardi Gras is required reading.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Only New Orleans could inspire such devotion. Some essays are better than others, but they are all written with love, hope and the fascination only NOLA can inspire.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Caren

    I loved all of these essays. They each brought me closer to the city I love - New Orleans. Written just after Katrina it brings new light to the disaster and the city.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Greta

    Very loving tribute to all elements of New Orleans, almost too cheerful to endure, but since I'm preparing to visit the big easy soon, I enjoyed it. Very loving tribute to all elements of New Orleans, almost too cheerful to endure, but since I'm preparing to visit the big easy soon, I enjoyed it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Molly

    Blown away by this. The whole thing is a love song to a lost city. I have always loved New Orleans and I felt, with each essay, like I lived there. What a great book!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    marilyn

    There are some fabulous moments in this, but I felt they were a bit inconsistent. Still, makes me badly crave a good drink and a breeze whisking away a muggy dusk.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom

  17. 5 out of 5

    C Morrison

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carey

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  20. 4 out of 5

    Austin Murphy

  21. 5 out of 5

    nikita dawe

  22. 5 out of 5

    Danette

  23. 4 out of 5

    Regina

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Brillhart

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

  26. 4 out of 5

    lyarotsky

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anne Bradley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

  29. 5 out of 5

    James

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen

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