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Rebecca Wells

NEW IBERIA — The Books Along the Teche Literary Festival will welcome author Rebecca Wells as its 2019 Great Southern Writer.

As part of the April 5-7 festival, Wells will host a symposium at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the Sliman Theater, 129 E. Main St., New Iberia. Tickets for the session with Wells are $15.

She is known for her best-selling book “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” set in rural Louisiana in the 1950s. The novel created a movement for women, prompting Ya-Ya girlfriend groups to form nationwide. “Divine Secrets” was also made into a film of the same name. Wells earned the American Booksellers Award and the Western States Book Award.

In addition to being an author, Wells is a playwright and an accomplished actress who will be presenting stories of female friendship and mother-daughter relationships during her two-hour presentation.

The first 200 ticket holders will be seated in the Sliman Theater and see Wells live on stage. Holders of tickets numbered past 200 will see a live broadcast of Wells from inside the Essanee Theater, 126 Iberia St. Tickets are available now through Eventbrite and will be available at the door.

Officially known as "Books Along the Teche Literary Festival: Celebrating New Iberia, Dave Robicheaux’s Hometown and Great Southern Writers," the event runs from April 5-7, predominantly in New Iberia’s historic district, but also includes events around Iberia Parish.

Festival goers can see the Iberia of Robicheaux, who is featured in 22 books by author James Lee Burke, in the Dave's Haunts & Jaunts Tour ($60) at 12:30 p.m. April 5 and 8 a.m. April 6; attend the Louisiana Seafood Great Southern Chefs Food Demo ($25) at 12:30 p.m. Friday; take bourée (cards) lessons ($15) at 11 a.m. Saturday then play in the Bourée on the Bayou Tournaments ($25) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The event also includes lots of free events, including panel discussions on book writing, poetry, politics and music, readers theater and dozens of authors selling their books at an Authors Fair on Saturday. The Grand Theater will also offer free movie screenings.

Former Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque and creole accordionist Mary Broussard will present poetry and music at 4 p.m. Friday, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette will sponsor an academic symposium on "James Lee Burke and Louisiana Politics" at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. 

The events culminate on Sunday with boat tours down the Bayou Teche ($25) and a free Acadiana Symphony Orchestra concert in New Iberia City Park.

For a complete festival itinerary, visit BooksAlongTheTecheLiteraryFestival.com or the festival’s Facebook page. Tickets for individual events and all-inclusive passes, which include Wells' symposium, are available at Eventbrite.