Kickstart Mardis Gras with 5 Books Set in New Orleans


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By Cori Cagide, Associate Publicist

Today, Tuesday, March 4th, kicks off Mardis Gras 2014 – A holiday celebrated as much for its exciting parades and parties as for its history and tradition. Mardis Gras is filled with crazy costumes, amazing food and purple, green and gold beads galore! In the spirit of this week’s celebrations, which notoriously takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana, we have a round-up of the most famous books with plots set in The Big Easy.


Cori_StreetcarA Streetcar Named Desire, by Tenessee Williams

Probably the most famous play set in this fine city is A Streetcar Named Desire, an enduring portrait of sex, class and secrets in one of America’s most fascinating and diverse cities. The play was written in 1947 by Tenessee Williams and follows Southern belle Blanche DuBois and her encounter with her sister Stella, and brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski in the French Quarters section of New Orleans.  The play was adapted into a movie, with the iconic Marlon Brando playing Stanley and Vivien Leigh as Blanche.






Cori_The PelicanThe Pelican Brief¸ by John Grisham

In suburban Georgetown, a killer’s Reeboks whisper on the floor of a posh home. In a seedy D.C. porno house, a patron is swiftly garroted to death. The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief. The book was also adapted into a movie, starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.






Cori_The AwakeningThe Awakening, by Kate Chopin

First published in 1899, this novel shocked readers with its open sensuality and uninhibited treatment of marital infidelity. Poignant and lyrical, it tells the story of a New Orleans wife who attempts to find love outside a stifling marriage. Critics have praised it as a first-rate narrative and a forerunner of the modern novel. Newly available in this inexpensive edition, “The Awakening” offers modern readers superb characterization and an insightful portrait of a woman’s awakening to physical passion.






Cori_WitchingThe Witching Hour, by Ann Rice

Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches–a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being.
On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking . . . and The Witching Hour begins.






Cori__Midnight BayouMidnight Bayou, by Nora Roberts

Declan Fitzgerald had always been the family maverick, but even he couldn’t understand his impulse to buy a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans. All he knew was that ever since he first saw Manet Hall, he’d been enchanted-and obsessed-with it. So when the opportunity to buy the house comes up, Declan jumps at the chance to live out a dream. Determined to restore Manet Hall to its former splendor, Declan begins the daunting renovation room by room, relying on his own labor and skills. But the days spent in total isolation in the empty house take a toll. He is seeing visions of days from a century past, and experiencing sensations of terror and nearly unbearable grief-sensations not his own, but those of a stranger. Local legend has it that the house is haunted, and with every passing day Declan’s belief in the ghostly presence grows.




Related: Meet Our MEDIA CONNECT Team: Cori Cagide



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