For evidence that truth can be at least as compelling as fiction, there’s no better example than the many books Tulane university professor Richard Campanella has written about the geography, history, architecture and culture of Louisiana.
In recognition of Campanella’s work, he’s this year’s winner of the Louisiana Writer Award, presented at each year’s Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge. The 2019 festival is Saturday, Nov. 2 in and around the State Capitol.
Campanella, a Brooklyn native, says he became interested in Louisiana in 1971, when he read about a visit by Abraham Lincoln to New Orleans. His books include “Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans,” and “Geographies of New Orleans: Urban Fabrics Before the Storm.” Next year, LSU Press will publish Campanella’s “The West Bank of Greater New Orleans: A Historical Geography.” In addition to his books, Campanella also writes occasional articles on Louisiana history for this newspaper.
Sometimes, it takes a newcomer to fully appreciate Louisiana’s rich culture. Campanella’s writings have helped native Louisianans better appreciate their heritage, and he’s been an important voice in explaining Louisiana to the world.
We congratulate Campanella on his honor.