The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Powell's Q&A | September 3, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel



Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$12.95
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
1 Remote Warehouse Travel- US Southwestern States

Letters from New Orleans

by

Letters from New Orleans Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Rob Walker, columnist for the New York Times Magazine, energizes the lately enervated worlds of memoir and travelogue with his book-length debut, Letters From New Orleans, a reconnaissance of a city obsessed with the forensic details of denial.

Walker traded his New York life, including a shmancy media job, back in January of 2000. He and his girlfriend set up shop in New Orleans and soon after, Walker began sending, via email, "The Letter From New Orleans" to interested parties. All fourteen pieces, along with additional material and photo spectra, are included in the book.

Subjects covered include: celebratory gunfire, rich people, Michelle Shocked, the riddle of race relations today, robots, fine dining, drunkenness, urban decay, debutantes, the nature of identity, Gennifer Flowers, the song "St. James Infirmary," and mortality.

Review:

"Walker, the New York Times Magazine's 'Consumed' columnist, shares episodic vignettes of three years (2000 — 2003) spent in New Orleans. He takes in the usual (Mardi Gras, Carnival, a funeral, a gospel choir, Gennifer Flowers, Galatoire's, K-Doe) as a resident tourist, but his writer's perspective strays just enough off center to remain interesting. The streetcar named Desire long gone, Walker visits the history and tenants of the Desire projects. He pursues the blues standard 'St. James Infirmary' through its recording history and around the world. He dons a skeleton costume and parades with one of the Carnival krewes. Not the meal at Galatoire's but the local uproar about a fired waiter gets his attention. Indeed, the quality that makes Walker's 'modest series of stories about a place that means a lot to [him]' rewarding reading is his immersion in the local. Neighborhood bars, regional history, hometown notables and a dash of mayoral politics reign in the recurring presence of New Orleans' dominating event, Mardi Gras. Walker's book, 'not a memoir, a history, or an expos,' won't help a tourist get around in New Orleans, but it will help him or her see beyond the tour guide's pointed finger. (July 20)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"...These stories now function as 21 silent little jazz funerals: exuberant, celebratory and tragic." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Letters from New Orleans tells the stories that you've never heard before and that you just can't hear while jaunting through the muggy city during Jazz Fest or Mardis Gras.... Fresh and poignant." Forbes.com

Review:

"Letters From New Orleans... stands within the most robust tradition of geography-centered writing. It's a complicated tribute. In its willingness to pursue topics as far-flung as musicology, urban decay and the cultural history of Carnival season, it recalls writers such as V.S. Naipaul, who approach cities and countries with a hungry interest in demolishing false expectations." Flak Magazine

Review:

"This is not a travel book per se, but rather an outsider's account of America's strangest town.... The chapter on R&B singer Ernie K-Doe's lounge is a masterful little piece of social observation.... Seeing the city through Rob Walker's eyes reveals a place at once familiar and yet different." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Walker's musings reveal him to be an astute observer of human nature, urban renewal (or lack thereof), tradition, music, economics, frivolity, and other sociocultural phenomena.... Letters succeeds as a collage of eloquent impressions of New Orleans and reads like thoughtful dispatches from a learned friend." Booklist

Synopsis:

Rob Walker, columnist for the New York Times Magazine (Consumed), energizes the lately enervated worlds of memoir and travelogue with his book-length debut, Letters From New Orleans, a reconnaissance of a city obsessed with the forensic details of denial.

Synopsis:

In January of 2000, Rob Walker left a high-powered media job in New York, and with his girlfriend, moved to New Orleans. Letters from New Orleans collects, in one volume, the delightful and unsettling observations Walker sent to friends and fans about his intriguing new life in New Orleans.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Grady Harp, February 24, 2008 (view all comments by Grady Harp)
'Journalism' as it once was: Sharing observations, realities, opinions

Rob Walker may use his day job as a New York Times Magazine Columnist to support himself, but with the publication of LETTERS FROM NEW ORLEANS he clearly steps into the arena of fine writers whose messages stand solidly on their own. This collection of shared letters via email does not come across as yet another Blog site, but instead reveals a writer of sensitivity of observation, calm excitement of discovery, and an artist who can enter a space apparently foreign to him and make it not only his experience but also that of his reader.

This too short book covers a period of time when Walker moved to New Orleans and adapted to the idiosyncrasies of that magical city in daily exploration of its peculiar wonders. With his companion 'E' he attends a New Orleans church service (as the only white people present) and learns to appreciate the gospel singing, the attire and the unconditional love that pours from the congregation; he dresses for Carnivale and participates in the traditions of bead throwing and costuming that have only been images in films and photos; he takes us on a journey through the celebration of a New Orleans funeral - which is anything but morose - and teaches us about the 'cemeteries' of tombs above ground in this city below sea level; he ponders on the traditions of firing guns into the sky to celebrate most any event; he explores the famous 'St James Infirmary' of song fame, sharing the origins of the place and the myths; and he mixes with the people in this city of poverty of pocketbook but wealth of mind.

Reading Rob Walker could be experienced as a prelude (or postlude) to appreciating the art of Tennessee Williams and the Jazz Greats. His technique in writing is to keep it simple and observational, and in doing so he raises his writing to the level of poetry - succinct with themes and variations that always return us to the spirit of one of America's most treasured cities. Highly recommended reading.

Grady Harp
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
eteet, August 11, 2006 (view all comments by eteet)
These are excellent stories that subtly reveal a side of New Orleans rarely seen.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781891053016
Author:
Walker, Rob
Publisher:
Garrett County Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
Louisiana
Subject:
City and town life
Subject:
United States - South - New Orleans
Subject:
Essays & Travelogues
Subject:
Regional Subjects - South
Subject:
Americana-Louisiana
Subject:
Travel-US Southern States
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Garrett County
Publication Date:
20050431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
220
Dimensions:
7.14x5.48x.51 in. .49 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Survival of the Prettiest: The...
    Used Trade Paper $8.95
  2. Managing Ignatius: The Lunacy of... Used Hardcover $6.95
  3. The Tipping Point: How Little Things...
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  4. Corrigan (New York Review Books... Sale Trade Paper $7.98
  5. The Asian Grocery Store Demystified:... Used Trade Paper $4.95

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Small Press » Fiction and Prose
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
Travel » North America » United States » Southern States
Travel » North America » United States » Southwestern States
Travel » Travel Writing » General

Letters from New Orleans New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details 220 pages Garrett County Press - English 9781891053016 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Walker, the New York Times Magazine's 'Consumed' columnist, shares episodic vignettes of three years (2000 — 2003) spent in New Orleans. He takes in the usual (Mardi Gras, Carnival, a funeral, a gospel choir, Gennifer Flowers, Galatoire's, K-Doe) as a resident tourist, but his writer's perspective strays just enough off center to remain interesting. The streetcar named Desire long gone, Walker visits the history and tenants of the Desire projects. He pursues the blues standard 'St. James Infirmary' through its recording history and around the world. He dons a skeleton costume and parades with one of the Carnival krewes. Not the meal at Galatoire's but the local uproar about a fired waiter gets his attention. Indeed, the quality that makes Walker's 'modest series of stories about a place that means a lot to [him]' rewarding reading is his immersion in the local. Neighborhood bars, regional history, hometown notables and a dash of mayoral politics reign in the recurring presence of New Orleans' dominating event, Mardi Gras. Walker's book, 'not a memoir, a history, or an expos,' won't help a tourist get around in New Orleans, but it will help him or her see beyond the tour guide's pointed finger. (July 20)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "...These stories now function as 21 silent little jazz funerals: exuberant, celebratory and tragic."
"Review" by , "Letters from New Orleans tells the stories that you've never heard before and that you just can't hear while jaunting through the muggy city during Jazz Fest or Mardis Gras.... Fresh and poignant."
"Review" by , "Letters From New Orleans... stands within the most robust tradition of geography-centered writing. It's a complicated tribute. In its willingness to pursue topics as far-flung as musicology, urban decay and the cultural history of Carnival season, it recalls writers such as V.S. Naipaul, who approach cities and countries with a hungry interest in demolishing false expectations."
"Review" by , "This is not a travel book per se, but rather an outsider's account of America's strangest town.... The chapter on R&B singer Ernie K-Doe's lounge is a masterful little piece of social observation.... Seeing the city through Rob Walker's eyes reveals a place at once familiar and yet different."
"Review" by , "Walker's musings reveal him to be an astute observer of human nature, urban renewal (or lack thereof), tradition, music, economics, frivolity, and other sociocultural phenomena.... Letters succeeds as a collage of eloquent impressions of New Orleans and reads like thoughtful dispatches from a learned friend."
"Synopsis" by , Rob Walker, columnist for the New York Times Magazine (Consumed), energizes the lately enervated worlds of memoir and travelogue with his book-length debut, Letters From New Orleans, a reconnaissance of a city obsessed with the forensic details of denial.
"Synopsis" by , In January of 2000, Rob Walker left a high-powered media job in New York, and with his girlfriend, moved to New Orleans. Letters from New Orleans collects, in one volume, the delightful and unsettling observations Walker sent to friends and fans about his intriguing new life in New Orleans.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.