French Quarter Fiction: The Newest Stories of America's Oldest BohemiaPaperback
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- Publisher: Light of New Orleans Publishing, LLC
- Format: Paperback | 384 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 33mm | 567g
- Publication date: 29 September 2005
- Publication City/Country: New Orleans
- ISBN 10: 0971407673
- ISBN 13: 9780971407671
Branching across every genre, from mystery and romance to flash fiction and prose poetry, this anthology of works by preeminent writers on the heart of New Orleans features stories from Tennessee Williams, Richard Ford, Ellen Gilchrist, Robert Olen Butler, Andrei Codrescu, Barry Gifford, Poppy Z. Brite, Julie Smith, John Biguenet, Nancy Lemann, and Valerie Martin, among others. The characters in these works find themselves everywhere from Sarajevo on the eve of the First World War to Algiers Point just across the Mississippi River, but their stories are all anchored in the French Quarter. They wander from the 18th-century New World to a rooftop view of Bourbon Street on the cusp of the third millennium. Interspersed with the history of the city, these stories penetrate the standard cliches and reflect the true sense of the French Quarter--its sensuality, mystery, the life behind its walls--and lift the veils of privacy altogether. Whether surrealism or satire, these exceptional stories are beautiful, poignant, tragic, and comic.
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"The past keeps rising up here; the water table is too high. All around the Quarter groups of tourists float like clumps of sewage. The black carriage drivers pull their fringed carts full of white people from nowhere up to the corner outside and tell them how Jean Lafitte and Andrew Jackson plotted things out, as if the driver knew them personally. The conventioneers sit under the carriage awning, looking around with the crazed, vacant stare of babies, shaded by history, then move on. The sun is getting higher, the shadows are shortening, the moisture is steaming off the sidewalks. The Schubert, or Debussy, or whatever it is, has turned into an oboe rhapsody, with French horns and bassoons quacking and palmetto bugs crawling across the tile floor, making clicking sounds that I can't hear because the music is too loud. If she didn't love me, why didn't she just tell me so?"