Review Roundup: November 2019

LSU Press publishes the works of a host of talented authors. Each month, we take a moment to recognize the impact these authors and their works are having on communities nearby and around the world.


Author Richard Campanella uses geography to make Louisiana history come to life. His last three books—Cityscapes of New Orleans, Bourbon Street: A History, and The Photojournalism of Del Hall: New Orleans and Beyond, 1950s–2000s—all celebrate the unique landscapes and culture of Louisiana. In recognition of his work in furthering our appreciation of the state’s history, Campanella received the Louisiana Writer Award at this year’s Louisiana Book Festival. His fourth book with LSU Press, The West Bank of New Orleans: A Historical Geography, is available for pre-order now.

John Kyle Day wrote an absolutely glowing review of Walter C. Stern’s Race and Education in New Orleans: Creating the Segregated City, 1764–1960 for the Journal of American History. According to Day, Race and Education is “the best work of history that this reviewer has read in years” and “a masterpiece.” Read the full review here.


Image of the cover of "Preserving Our Roots"

Preserving Our Roots: My Journey to Save Seeds and Stories, by John Coykendall with Christina Melton, is this season’s must-have book. Coykendall, a master gardener at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, makes an annual pilgrimage to Washington Parish, Louisiana, to spend time with the local farmers and gardeners who have become his close friends over the years. In this book, Coykendall records stories and images about the culture, people, and seeds of the area. After a standing-room-only talk at the Louisiana Book Festival, Coykendall traveled to several bookshops and events around the state to spread his message of seed preservation. “I never could have captured the essence of that rural farm community the way internationally known horticulturist John Coykendall does,” says Cheramie Sonnier in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. You can get your copy of Roots here.

The recently released memoir of former war correspondent and veteran journalist Peter Copeland, Finding the News: Adventures of a Young Reporter, has been getting a lot of buzz. Copeland stopped during his Chicago book tour to speak with David Maas of the International Journalists’ Network about the perks—and drawbacks—of working in journalism. “[As journalists], we get to travel around, meet new and interesting people, learn new things, and then share those experiences with everyone else,” says Copeland. Read the rest of his interview here.

Wendy Rawlings’s new short story collection, Time for Bed, garnered an enthusiastic review from Lit Pub’s Megan Paonessa, who called the stories “an absolute treat.” Read the review here.


In a historic first for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards, two books of poetry from the same press—LSU Press—jointly won the prestigious Poetry Award. Michael Chitwood’s Search and Rescue and the late Claudia Emerson’s Claude before Time and Space were both selected by an independent panel of judges as the best poetry books published by Virginia authors in 2018. Read the full press release here.

The Georgia Center for the Book honored Chelsea Rathburn’s evocative new collection, Still Life with Mother and Knife, as one of the 2019 “Books All Georgians Should Read.” Joe Davich, executive director of the Georgia Center for the Book, said the list is “a wonderful way to honor the extraordinary talent of these authors and gives us the opportunity to inform readers across our state of the contribution being made to Georgia’s literary heritage.” Georgian or not, you can get a copy of Rathburn’s book here.

For the latest news about LSU Press books, authors, and events, sign up for our monthly newsletter, and follow us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.