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What We’re Reading: New Orleans, Mon Amour

Post by Elizabeth Coleman
Posted May 23, 2014 in NoveList Bookshelf

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New Orleans, Mon Amour

by Andrei Codrescu

What is it about?
New Orleans, Mon Amour by Andrei Codrescu, is his collection of essays about the city from 1985 to 2005, including a brief look at post-Katrina New Orleans. Often hilarious, sometimes scathing, and at other times poignant, Codrescu has deftly captured the spirit of the city and the people who call it home.  These essays are part anecdote, part history lesson, and part personal rumination.  Codrescu discusses his thoughts on Carnival season, tourists, local politics, bartenders, music, and anything else that takes his fancy. He is clearly enamored of the city, but not so much that he won’t point out its many flaws and oddities.

Why I like it: 
As someone who was born and raised in New Orleans, left, returned, and left again, I found this collection to be weirdly nostalgic; for all that we lived different lives. Codrescu has accurately conjured the peculiar heart of the city, to which I, or anyone else who has spent time there, can relate.

"I'd recommend this book to…"
Anyone who has been to, will one day visit, or currently lives in New Orleans.

Memorable quote:

“The nature of New Orleans is to encourage the optimum development of New Orleanians: It's an environment for a specific life-form, a dreamy, lazy, sentimental, musical one, prey to hallucinations (not visions), tolerant, indolent, and gifted at storytelling. This goes against the very grain of American civilization as we know it.”

Recommended by Elizabeth Coleman, Cataloger at NoveList.