The course begins in Grand Isle, an island on the Gulf Coast south of New Orleans - the setting for Kate Chopin’s classic 1899 novella of self discovery, ‘The Awakening’.
Interview With The Vampire
From Grand Isle, the course moves to New Orleans. We explore the early history of the city through Anne Rice’s transgressive, decadent slice of gothic, ‘Interview With the Vampire’.
Coming Through Slaughter
Michael Ondaatje’s 1976 novel about New Orleans jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden, set in Storyville and the Faubourg Lafayette, is the perfect introduction to New Orleans’ rich and unique African American culture.
Walker Percy’s novel from 1961 captures a different facet of the city - genteel, Southern. It’s the perfect book to read ‘uptown’ in the Garden District.
A Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole’s 'A Confederacy of Dunces' is a work of comic genius. Like no other novel it captures the spirit of contemporary New Orleans.
All the King's Men
From New Orleans, the course moves to Baton Rouge, where we explore the culture of the poor White South through Robert Penn Warren’s thriller, based on the life of Southern demagogue Huey Long.
A Lesson Before Dying
We then travel to Pointe Coupée Parish, Louisiana, where in both 2017 and 2018 we were privileged to meet the author Ernest J. Gaines, whose novels describe the region in the Jim Crow years.
Same Place, Same Things
The final stage in the journey is spent in the Southern bayous, where we read short stories by Tim Gautreaux that capture the flavor of Cajun Louisiana.