Louisiana native Mark LaFlaur is a writer and editor who lives in New York City. He blogs at Levees Not War. LaFlaur’s work has appeared in the Village Voice, the Los Angeles Times Book Review and in books published by Macmillan and Oxford University Press.
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Elysians Fields: A Novel
Elysian Fields: A Novel is winner of a rare “double crown” of starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews, and a Publishers Weekly Featured Fiction selection.
Simpson Weems is a 36-year-old aspiring poet whose life has been on hold to the breaking point. All he needs to fulfill his potential is to move to San Francisco, but he’s torn between his long-held dream of being a great artist and obligations to his aged, ailing mother and his emotionally volatile brother, the all-demanding Bartholomew. Will someone in his family have to die before he can get to California? And how might that be arranged?
Written on location in New Orleans and set shortly before Hurricane Katrina, Elysian Fields combines menace, the comic strangeness of Flannery O’Connor and hints of magical realism to convey vivid, original characters and the Crescent City — from Bourbon Bath, a water-pleasure house in the Vieux Carré and the broken, tilting house of the blind Rev. Bud Rex to a fantastical Carnival interlude in a subterranean tavern deep beneath the French Quarter — that is both recognizable and more offbeat and seductive than visitors usually see.
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