Chris Tusa was born and raised in New Orleans. His debut novel, Dirty Little Angels, was published in March of 2009. His debut collection of poems, Haunted Bones, was published in 2006. His work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Connecticut Review, New South, Texas Review, The Southeast Review, New Delta Review, South Dakota Review and others. His second novel, In the City of Falling Stars, was recently awarded First Runner-Up for the Faulkner Wisdom Novel-in-Progress Award.
11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room C
Falling Stars, Falling Birds: The Aftermath of Loss
Noon to 12:45 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
In the City of Falling Stars
Dead birds are falling out of the sky and Maurice Delahoussaye suspects the air in New Orleans may be unsafe. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries claims the birds were poisoned, while meteorologists suggest they were killed by a sudden change in temperature. There’s even talk of terrorism, Bird Flu, West Nile Virus, or high levels of mold spores left over from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When Maurice expresses his fear, his family tries to assure him. Gradually, though, he becomes increasingly fearful that the government is hiding an ominous secret, and when he begins having strange religious premonitions suggesting that his wife is pregnant with Jesus Christ, he becomes convinced that the dead birds are a sign from God.
Set in the early months of 2006, against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War, In the City of Falling Stars is a tragicomedy that examines the increasing paranoia following the September 11th attacks, as well as a commentary on the devastating psychological scars that the storm left on the city of New Orleans.
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