In Louisiana, every bite of food and each turn of phrase is an expression of cultural literacy. Correctly pronouncing “Tchoupitoulas” or “Atchafalaya,” knowing the difference between the first Governor Long and the second one, being able to spot the artwork of Caroline Durieux, and honoring the distinction between a Creole and a Cajun roux serve not just as markers of familiarity; they represent acts of preservation. The Louisiana Field Guide: Understanding Life in the Pelican State expands on this everyday communion of history, delving into the cultural patchwork that makes the Gumbo State both thoroughly American and absolutely singular.
An authoritative lineup of contributors reintroduces Louisiana through the lenses of environment, geography, history, politics, religion, culture, language, sports, literature, film, music, architecture, food, and art. Whether describing the archi-tectural details of the Ursuline Convent in the French Quarter or sharing the family history of Bourgeois’ Meat Market just outside of Thibodaux, the essays in The Louisiana Field Guide present a fresh and expansive look at the enchanting and perplexing Pelican State.
At once an accessible primer and a rich omnibus, this volume explores the well-known destinations and far-flung corners of Louisiana, from Cameron Parish to Congo Square, offering an enlightening companion guide for visitors and a trust-worthy reference for residents.
Ryan Orgera received his doctorate in geography from Louisiana State University and serves as the Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson in Washington, D.C.
Wayne Parent is the Russell B. Long Professor of Political Science at Louisiana State University. He is a frequent commentator on national and Louisiana politics for the media, including Nightline, CBS Sunday Morning, All Things Considered, Voice of America Radio, CNN News, New York Times, USA Today, Christian Science Monitor, and U.S. News and World Report. He is the coeditor of The Louisiana Field Guide: Understanding Life in the Pelican State.
Praise for The Louisiana Field Guide
“The perfect guide for understanding contemporary Louisiana. [The contributors] discuss its geography, history, culture, carnival, diet, politics, music and film, arts, architecture, and sports in short engaging chapters with humorous anecdotes.”—Library Journal (Best Print Reference of 2014)
“How well do you know this state we live in? If you know even half of what you’ll learn in this book, go to the head of the class. Orgera and Parent have produced a solid guide to every part and parish of Louisiana.”—Acadiana Lifestyle