LSU Press publishes the works of a host of talented scholars and poets. Each month, we take a moment to recognize the impact these authors and their works are having on communities nearby and around the world.
We are pleased to announce that David Huddle, acclaimed poet and author of the recent collection My Surly Heart, is a finalist for the Library of Virginia’s 2020 Literary Awards in Poetry. Huddle’s rich literary oeuvre includes more than twenty novels, short story collections, and poetry volumes. See more about the Library of Virginia awards, including when this year’s winners will be announced, here.
Publishers Weekly gave Peter LaSalle’s most recent collection of travel essays, The World Is a Book, Indeed: Writing, Reading, and Traveling, a starred review, saying, “Readers who discover this literary gem will be delighted.” Read the full review here.
Sylvie DuBois, Emilie Gagnet Leumas, and Malcolm Richardson’s book on the shift from French to English in Louisiana’s Catholic churches, Speaking French in Louisiana, 1720–1955: Linguistic Practices of the Catholic Church, received a recommendation in the French Review. Kevin J. Rottet writes, “This carefully researched and well-edited volume deserves a place as an important contribution to scholarly discourse on language shift in Louisiana.” You can read the full article in this month’s issue of the French Review; subscribe here.
DuBois, Leumas, and Richardson’s volume also garnered a glowing review in H-France Review. Reader Jeff Tennant called Speaking French in Louisiana “a very significant contribution to the study of French in Louisiana” and “a valuable resource for linguists and historians alike.” Read his full review here.
Chef and Food Network Star finalist Jay Ducote, together with veteran food writer Cynthia LeJeune Nobles, shares recipes and grilling tips in Jay Ducote’s Louisiana Outdoor Cooking, which is out just in time for tailgating season. George Morris wrote a feature article on the book for the Baton Rouge/New Orleans Advocate; read it (and get a great recipe for “Pork and Brussels Sprout Cast-Iron Bake”) here.
Jen Fawkes’s debut short story collection, Mannequin and Wife, earned an enthusiastic review from Story 366 writer and editor Michael Czyzniejewski: “I can’t say enough about Mannequin and Wife. . . . This is one of those books that just speaks to me, a book I’ll read cover to cover, again and again.” Read the full review here.
Southern Review of Books writer Ellis Elliott interviewed Fawkes about her new collection. “Whether it is the virgin fourth grade teacher that also writes erotic novelettes and is the world’s strongest woman, or a taxidermied naked mole rat named Queen Victoria, the characters and the expertly crafted stories surrounding them will stay with you long after the next full moon,” writes Elliott. Read the interview here.
Aisha Finch and Fannie Rushing’s edited collection on black political life in Cuba, Breaking the Chains, Forging the Nation: The Afro-Cuban Fight for Freedom and Equality, 1812–1912, received an enthusiastic review from the Journal of Interdisciplinary History. Historian Philip Howard identifies the book as a “valuable study for scholars of Cuban history, Latin American and Caribbean history, and the history of the African Diaspora in the Americas.” Read an excerpt of the review here.
The Journal of Southern History recently reviewed three LSU Press titles, starting with Robert Azzarello’s Three Hundred Years of Decadence: New Orleans Literature and the Transatlantic World. Researcher and historian Jennie Lightweis-Goff says of Azzarello’s work, “I consider the first chapter required reading. Azzarello adjudicates definitions of decadence in relationship to pleasure, progress, capitalism, and time, beginning with the metonym of New Orleans’s decaying foot trapped inside a boot-shaped state, with a geography that changes daily thanks to land loss.” Read an excerpt of the review here.
Next, Mark Boonshoft praises Peter S. Onuf’s Jefferson and the Virginians: Democracy, Constitutions, and Empire: “It brilliantly, and movingly, encapsulates many central interpretive threads of the last half century of early American intellectual history, which Onuf himself did so much to create.” Read an excerpt of Boonshoft’s article here.
Finally, Amanda Brickell Bellows describes David Prior’s book, Between Freedom and Progress: The Lost World of Reconstruction Politics, as “a welcome contribution to the growing body of literature that places Reconstruction in global perspective.” Read an excerpt of her review here.
Stephen Floyd, writer and reviewer behind the Best Presidential Biographies blog, gave an enthusiastic appraisal of President without a Party: The Life of John Tyler, Christopher J. Leahy’s account of one of the nation’s least-well-known heads of state. Floyd says, “This is not only the best biography of John Tyler I’ve ever read, but it may well be the best biography of John Tyler which can be written.” See his full review here.
The International Journal of Communication published a laudatory review of Ashley Hinck’s new fandom studies book, Politics for the Love of Fandom: Fan-Based Citizenship in a Digital World. According to reviewer Kyle A. Hammonds, Hinck’s book “cultivates a powerful framework for future explorations of fandom, communication, and civic life.” Read his full review here.