The Jefferson Parish Library is a good place to meet local authors. The East Bank Regional Library hosts at least one book signing per week and sometimes more.
During 2014, the library hosted about 75 authors at book signings, and 2015 will be no different. Local authors contribute significantly to our culture, and readers should have access to them.
Like all public library programs, author events are free of charge and are open to the public. Friends of the Jefferson Public Library are present to sell books to those who would like to purchase them.
‘MARDI GRAS IN NEW ORLEANS’: Arthur Hardy will discuss “Mardi Gras in New Orleans: An Illustrated History” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14 at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. This volume is a pictorial account of Mardi Gras from ancient times in Europe to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. It contains more than 350 vintage and contemporary illustrations and 60,000 words of text, including a complete dictionary of terms and Mardi Gras Q&A. This edition features an expanded reference section that provides details on hundreds of Carnival organizations, including the identities of more than 5,000 kings and queens. Arthur Hardy is a nationally recognized authority on Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
POETRY: Peter Cooley, professor of English and director of creative writing at Tulane, will introduce local poet Meena Young at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Young is the co-editor of Meena, a bilingual Arabic-English literary journal. She teaches creative writing at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Cooley will read from his work. His most recent book of poetry is “Night Bus to the Afterlife.”
‘SOUTHERN LADIES AND SUFFRAGISTS’: Miki Pfeffer will discuss “Southern Ladies and Suffragists” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Women from all over the country came to New Orleans in 1884 for the Woman’s Department of the Cotton Centennial Exposition, the portion of the World’s Fair exhibition devoted to women’s affairs and industry. Celebrities such as Julia Ward Howe and Susan B. Anthony brought national debates on women’s issues to the South for the first time, and journalists and ordinary women reacted. For those New Orleans ladies who were ready to seize the opportunity of this uncommon forum, the Woman’s Department offered a future that they had barely imagined.
‘NEW ORLEANS HISTORIC HOTELS’: Paul Oswell will discuss “New Orleans Historic Hotels” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. From political scandal and celebrity intrigue to events that shaped the landscape of the entire country, the story of New Orleans’ hotels is an engaging one. Oswell checks into the great hotels of the past and the present, telling the story of the properties that stood the test of time, as well as those that didn’t.
‘DEGAS IN NEW ORLEANS’: Rosary O’Neill will discuss “Degas in New Orleans” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. This book of fiction is based on Edgar Degas’ visit to New Orleans in 1872. It takes place in the Degas family home, a two-story house at 2306 Esplanade Ave. in which 18 members of the Degas family live and eke out a mediocre bankrupt existence after the Civil War. Edgar Degas arrives to salvage his brother’s cotton business and to reclaim his family life in the city of his mother.
‘N.O. LIT’: Nancy Dixon will discuss “N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Dixon, a professor English at Dillard University, has gathered works from writers long associated with New Orleans, such as Lafcadio Hearn, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Eudora Welty, as well as lesser-known authors such as the writers of Les Cenelles, French Creoles of color who published the first anthology of African-American literature in 1845.