Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Butterfly in the Typewriter

Cory MacLauchlin’s critical biography of John Kennedy Toole will be released on March 26, 2012, and Cory will be in New Orleans to mark the occasion. Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces gives readers the benefit of MacLauchlin’s in-depth research, in archival resources as well as by finding and interviewing many people who knew Toole during his lifetime. In Special Collections, we have had the pleasure of meeting and working with Cory MacLauchlin during his many research trips, over the last several years.

His primary resource in learning about Toole’s life and writing has been LaRC’s Manuscripts Collection 740, John Kennedy Toole Papers; his research also led him to the staff and collections of Tulane University Archives, Rare Books, and other New Orleans libraries and archives. We’ve also enjoyed learning about the book’s progress over time, by following his blog, which has now been incorporated into his website, Cory MacLauchlin, Biographer—Producer.

On March 25, 6:00 pm, at the Contemporary Arts Center, there will be a special screening of the documentary, "John Kennedy Toole: the omega point" ($7 admission) with filmmaker Joe Sanford, presented by the New Orleans Film Society and the Contemporary Arts Center. Cory MacLauchlin will be giving a talk and book signing at Garden District Book Shop on March 26, 5:30-7:30 pm, and at Octavia Books, March 27 at 6:00 pm. More information about these and other events is available under Readings, Signings, Events.

Congratulations to Cory MacLauchlin for his success! We look forward to reading the new book.

Note, 3/26/12, see "The Lost Manuscript to A Confederacy of Dunces" posted by Cory MacLauchlin in the Millions. An excerpt from Butterfly in the Typewriter appears in Huffington Post Books. A local mention of Cory MacLauchlin's New Orleans events appears in NOLA Defender. Chris Rose interviewed Cory MacLauchlin on Bourbon Street, in front of a Lucky Dog cart, which aired on Fox8 news, 3/30/12 at 9:00pm.

The April 17, 2012 issue of Gambit has a cover feature article on Butterfly in the Typewriter, "Toole Time."

Captions: cover of Butterfly in the Typewriter, evoking the literary imagination of John Kennedy Toole as he conceives of his fictional characters and stories; Biographer Cory MacLauchlin speaking about the life and writing of John Kennedy Toole, Octavia Bookstore, March 27, 2012.

Post and photograph of Cory MacLauchlin by Susanna Powers

Monday, March 5, 2012

LHA Annual Meeting

The Louisiana Historical Association held its 54th annual meeting at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter, March 1-4, 2012. We all enjoyed hearing the lively presentations, and seeing so many familiar faces of visiting researchers. Thematic sessions of several short talks were guided along quickly—these emphasized racial and gender issues in 19th century Louisiana, 20th century politics, and other wide-ranging topics.

Octavia Books arranged tables displaying their Louisiana literature for sale, including an appealing array of many of the scholarly monographs of the conference speakers.

Featured above is Professor Arthé Anthony, of the American Studies Program, Occidental College, delivering her talk, “The Photography of Florestine Perrault Collins: From Downtown to Midtown.” Professor Anthony’s research and teaching interests include an interdisciplinary examination of the American South, a socio-historical view of 20th-century African-American literature, African-American history, and women's studies/gender studies. The photographic image she is discussing here is of portrait photographer Florestine Perrault Collins (1895-1988) as an adolescent.

Photographs and post by Susanna Powers