Maple Street Book Shop: Celebrating 50 years of serving the book lovers of New Orleans!
|Maple Street Book Shop (New and Used) – (504)866-4916 & (504) 861-2105|
|Hours: Sun: 10am-5pm – Mon, Tue, Thurs-Sat: 10am-6pm – Wed: 12pm-6pm|
There’s nothing more fun than introducing new readers to books we love. We’ve organized some of our favorites here for you, and we hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we have.
Local Authors back to top
Maple Street’s List of Local Authors
Local Authors: Please come in throughout the year at your convenience and sign your book(s) and let us know if we are running low on your titles, or if we have left you off our list. Thanks!
Pamela Gray Ahearn
Susan Wittig Albert
J. Edward Ames
Walter Ingles Anderson
William F. Banta
John Barry (right)
Roberta Shoemaker Beal
D. Eric Bookhardt
George A. Effinger
O’Neil De Noux
John Ed Bradley
Quo Vadis Breaux
Poppy Z. Brite
Catherine Savage Brosman
Barbara Jo Brothers
John Gregory Brown
Violet Harrington Bryan
Bethany Ewald Bultman
Howard A.Buechner, M.D.
Raymond J. Burby
James Lee Burke
Robert Olen Butler
Michael D. Chafetz
Charles D. Chamberlain
Sandra Russell Clark
Cecilia Casrill Dartez
Albert Belisle Davis
O’Neil De Noux
Sharon Arms Doucet
George Alec Effinger
Lolis Eric Elie
Ernest Ferlita, S. J.
Don H. Fontenelle, Ph.D.
V. P. Franklin
Sylvia R. Frey
Sallie Ann Glassman
Marie D. Goodwin
Shirley Ann Grau
Valerie D. Greenberg
Stephen M. Griffin
Roy F. Guste
Modine Gunch (Liz Scott)
Charles D. Hadley
Thorne D. Harris III
Arnold R. Hirsch
Brian Keith Jackson
James S. Jansen
Deborah Ousley Kadai
Victor C. Klein
Thomas A. Klinger
John F. Landrum
Pinkie Gordon Lane
Clarence John Laughlin
Alecia P. Long
Alfred Lawrence Lorenz
Joseph P. Mackey
William F. Maestri
Leta Weiss Marks
Ti Adelaide Martin
Sharif H. Nadir
Rene Pol Nevils
Ethelyn G. Orso
Brenda Marie Osbey
Sam B. Pearson III
Lawrence N. Powell
Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Gloria Teles Pushker
Kim Lacy Rogers
Michael A. Ross
Laura Joh Rowland
Michael F. Russo
Kalamu ya Salaam
David M. Schnarch, M.D.
Terry L. Searcy
Maureen E. Shea
Gail K. Sheffield
Steven A. Shull
Michael P. Smith
David G. Spielman
Redding Sugg Jr.
Retta M. Taney
John Kennedy Toole
Lucian K. Truscott IV
Nan Van Den Bergh
Robert G. Watts
Mary Lou Widmer
Local Fiction back to top
Spotlight on local authors, books, and literary life:
Walker Percy, a great friend to Maple Street Book Shop, used the backdrop of Mardi Gras in his first novel, The Moviegoer, which won the National Book Award.
John Kennedy Toole created in A Confederacy of Dunces one of the most hilarious and authentic portraits of New Orleans crazies and characters. And some Maple Street Book Shop people played lunatic roles themselves in helping Thelma Toole, Toole’s mother, get the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel published. Also, the shop gave two parties for her. The first (co-hosted by writer Chris Wiltz) celebrated Louisiana State University agreeing to publish the book, and the second featured Thelma Toole playing the piano, singing in memory of her “genius” son, and signing copies of her deceased son’s book. At the second party, apparently everyone’s attention hadn’t been rapturous enough for her. She later pronounced that a certain local author had been “cavorting with the young people.”
Native Chris Wiltz, who worked at Maple Street Book Shop, is the creator of New Orleans private investigator Neal Rafferty, who stars in The Killing Circle and The Emerald Lizard.
Sherwood Anderson, author of Winesburg, Ohio, came to New Orleans in 1922 and encouraged other writers to follow. He was partly responsible for drawing William Faulkner to the city.
Two-time Edgar-Award-winner James Lee Burke is best known for his Cajun detective, Dave Robicheaux.
In 1920, writers and intellectuals in New Orleans founded The Double Dealer, a literary magazine that went on to publish such writers as Ernest Hemingway, Faulkner, Robert Penn Warren, and Edmund Wilson.
Faulkner wrote a piece for The Double Dealer called New Orleans. It includes sketches of eleven different New Orleans characters, including the priest, the beggar, the artist, and the tourist. He also wrote and set his novel Mosquitoes in New Orleans.
Occasional residents and visitors to the city included Gertrude Stein, John Dos Passos, Sinclair Lewis, and Thomas Wolfe.
William Spratling and Faulkner created a book of caricatures of local figures titled Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles. Anderson was not amused.
Richard Ford, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his novel Independence Day, has a home in the Garden District with his wife, Kristina, who was the city planner for New Orleans.
New Orleans Review was the first to publish John Kennedy Toole. The journal printed an excerpt of A Confederacy of Dunces in 1978.
Lillian Hellman, born in New Orleans in 1905, used her birthplace as the setting for several of her plays, including Toys in the Attic.
Galatoire’s, a famous local restaurant, was the spot Faulkner chose to hold a dinner when he received his advance for Mosquitoes. Patty Friedmann (with the help of Maple Street Book Shop) chose Galatoire’s as her host for a party to celebrate the release of her novel Eleanor Rushing.
Ernest Gaines, who found a wide audience after Oprah Winfrey chose his book A Lesson Before Dying for her book club, grew up outside of New Orleans on a plantation near New Roads, Louisiana. Though most of his books are set in that area of the state, his characters often travel to the city and speak of its charms. Gaines won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1993.
Sherwood Anderson called New Orleans “surely the most civilized spot in America.”
Valerie Martin grew up in New Orleans and set many of her books here, including Set in Motion, Alexandra, and The Great Divorce. In A Recent Martyr, a plague of rats takes over the city.
New Orleans native Hamilton Basso, author of Relics and Angels and Cinnamon Seed, studied law at Tulane University, but dropped out before receiving his degree. Charles Dufour, local historian and writer, claimed that he and Basso were both expelled.
Truman Capote, who was born in New Orleans in 1924, created the non-fiction novel when he wrote In Cold Blood.
Julie Smith won the Edgar Award in 1991 for New Orleans Mourning.
One of the city’s favorite sons, Tom Dent, a poet and the author of Southern Journey, lived and worked in New Orleans. Recently deceased, he is missed and loved by many.
Audubon Zoo serves as the setting for much of The Great Divorce by Valerie Martin.
Shelton Le Fleur falls from a tree in Audubon Park and his life is radically altered in John Gregory Brown’s The Wrecked, Blessed Body of Shelton Le Fleur. The Ponchartrain Bridge, the longest bridge in the country, collapses in the first scene of Brown’s first book, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery.
“Don’t you just love these long, rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t an hour—but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands—and who knows what to do with it?” —_A Streetcar Named Desire_, Tennessee Williams
Shirley Ann Grau, who has lived in and around New Orleans most of her life, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1965 (at 35 years old—making her the youngest woman to win the prize) for her novel The Keepers of the House.
Sheila Bosworth, author of Almost Innocent and Slow Poison, was born in New Orleans. Walker Percy called Almost Innocent “a lovely achievement, a superior one.”
Ellen Gilchrist named one of her main characters and her book Rhoda for the owner of Maple Street Book Shop, Rhoda K. Faust.
Miller Williams, who was chosen to read a poem at Bill Clinton’s second inauguration, founded The New Orleans Review at Loyola University.
Berthe Amoss, author of many children’s books including It’s Not Your Birthday and Tom in the Middle, was born and lives in New Orleans.
Native Brenda Marie Osbey won the American Book Award for her collection of poetry All Saints.
“Maple Street Book Shop . . . has served for almost thirty years as the vital literary center of modern New Orleans. One day, perhaps some enterprising graduate student will find its history worthy of a dissertation.” —Earl N. Harbert, Tulane University professor in the sixties (excerpted from a review of Louisiana Women Writers by Dorothy H. Brown and Barbara C. Ewell in “Studies in American Fiction” Northeastern University, Spring 1994)
WHODUNIT IN NEW ORLEANS
Walk down some mysterious Crescent City streets.
The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke (Pocket Books, mass market, $6.99)
This is the first in the Dave Robicheaux series. Robicheaux, a New Orleans cop, has fought too many battles: in Vietnam, with killers and hustlers, with police brass, and the bottle. Lost without his wife’s love, his haunted soul mirrors the intensity and dusky mystery of New Orleans French Quarter—the place he calls home, and the place that nearly destroys him when he becomes involved in the case of a young prostitute whose body is found in a bayou.
“Burke writes the kind of crime/suspense novels other writers wish they could write.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
Visit Burke’s official website: www.jamesleeburke.com/
New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith (Fawcett, mass market, $6.50)
This first book in the series about policewoman Skip Langdon. When a costumed sniper kills the king of Mardi Gras krewe Rex, Skip must investigate the tangled clues and ancient secrets that culminate in danger.
“This story takes place in the hidden heart of New Orleans, a separate, special world, at once sad and touching. Smith is a gifted writer and she tells her story on many levels, through many dimensions. This is hardly just a mystery story.” —The Washington Post Book World
Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite (Three Rivers Press, paperback, $13.95)
New Orleans natives Rickey and G-man are line cooks looking to move up in the world. They’re sure their new restaurant, Liquor, will be an instant success, but a series of run-ins with some nasty characters threatens to turn their dream into a waking nightmare.
“Liquor is world-class satire and perfect New Orleans lit.” —Andrei Codrescu
Fat White Vampire Blues by Andrew Fox (Ballantine, paperback, $13.95)
Although he’s felt at home in New Orleans for over a century, Jules Duchon is an unhappy vampire. He’s overweight, lonely, and struggling to keep up with the challenges of immortality. When a new vampire comes to town and burns down Jules’ house as a warning, our protagonist must concentrate all his energy on staying undead—not an easy task for a hungry vampire living amongst some of the most well-fed people in the world.
“After two decades of reviewing books for Fangoria, I don’t recall being as surprised and delighted as I was with Fat White Vampire Blues. Andrew Fox’s hero is the anti-Lestat we didn’t even know we needed. This is the best thing to happen to vampire fiction in ages.” —Linda Marotta, Fangoria Magazine
Local Non-Fiction back to top
Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans by Richard Campanella
The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square by Ned Sublette
The Last Madam: A Life In The New Orleans Underworld by Chris Wiltz
Storyville, New Orleans: Being an Authentic, Illustrated Account of the Notorious Red Light District by Al Rose
The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story by Julia Reed
New Orleans 1960 by William Claxton
1 Dead in Attic by Chris Rose