National Endowment of the Arts - The Big Read

The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society, Inc.


Contact Info

624 Pirate's Alley
New Orleans, LA 70116

Tel: 504/586-1609
Fax: 504/586-1609
http://www.wordsandmusic.org

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

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The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
Dinaw Mengestu

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Events

BIG READ Snail-Mail Brochure Mailing

The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society will e-mail brochures to 3,500 area adults on our various e-mail lists. The brochure discusses the BIG READ focus novel, "The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears," and information about the focus author, Dinaw Mengestu, along with plans for BIG READ, 2014. The brochure requests individual donations in support of the project. Concurrently, the same brochure, printed at a heavily discounted price by our regular printer will be sent to 1,000 friends and members by snail mail. Postage is an in-kind gift from a local law firm. The brochures outlined purposes of NEA's BIG READ program and the Society's 2014 project.

Event Location: To Addresses of 7,500 members and friends of the Faulkner Society, New Orleans area addresses, New Orleans Metro Area, LA NA

Date: Fri, Aug 15, 2014
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

General Public Kick-Off BIG READ, 2014

"Happy Birthday, Mr. Faulkner!" and Salute to BIG READ The General Public Kick-off featured well known New Orleanians, including writers and musicians, cultural leaders, discussing the importance of reading and reading well for career success and personal satisfaction in life. Professional writers read from the BIG READ focus novel, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears," by Dinaw Mengestu. The event was to have taken place on the actual birthday of Nobel laureate William Faulkner, September 25, but because of Jewish high holidays falling then, we moved the event to Sunday, September 28. The program incorporated Faulkner's comments about the importance of reading. The venue, located in the Warehouse District of New Orleans, was at the residence of Roland and Mary Von Kornatowski, owners of the famous music club, Tipitina's, and creators of the Tipitina's Foundation, which is devoted to music and education projects for young people. Once a merchantile building, the Von Kornatowskis converted it to a residence suitable for large scale entertaining with music on the ground floor, comfortable living quarters on the second floor. The Von Kornatowski's were Honorary Co-Chairs for the event. BIG READ book marks and handouts on the Mengestu book were presented to attendees, which included students from Loyola University and Tulane University and representatives of Partner organizations, such as the Bishop Perry Center, Jefferson Library, State Library of Louisiana.

Event Location: 818 St. Charles Avenue, Warehouse District, New Orleans, LA 70130

Date: Sun, Sep 28, 2014
Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

2014 Orientation Event for Participating Teachers

Dr. Nghana Lewis, Ph.D., Professor of English at Tulane University and practicing attorney, introduced the 2014 BIG READ focus novel, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears," by Dinaw Mengestu. Dr. Lewis broke the novel down into teaching and reading components and offered teaching approaches. A handout for teachers was distributed at the session, along with NEA BIG READ bookmarks and free copies of the novel for the teachers and their students. A planned film presentation, a compilation of interviews with Mengestu talking about his work, was postponed. Instead, teachers attending were provided with direct links to on-line interviews with Mengestu to use with their students. While participating middle, junior, high school, and college teachers are the target audience for this event, the event was open to the general public.

Event Location: Bishop Perry Center, 1941 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Mon, Sep 29, 2014
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

October Meeting, French Quarter Book Club

The French Quarter Book Club, which meets monthly, heard a discussion by literary scholar W. Kenneth Holditch of the plight of the immigrant, focusing on "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears" at its October 3 as a prelude to reading the book. Members of the club were directed at the October meeting to the NEA/BIG READ web site to download readers guides. Book marks were provided to club members and Faulkner House Books offered the books to the club at a 15 per cent discount. The club members were to discuss the book at the November meeting.

Event Location: Armory, State Museum, Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Fri, Oct 3, 2014
Time: 5:30pm – 7:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

The Great Books Club: "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears"

The Great Books Club meets on the third Thursday of each month to read classic literature. On October 16, the club will meet to discuss "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears," by Dinaw Mengestu, Ethiopian-born American writer. The Great Books Club has been meeting monthly for 11 years. Meetings are held in the East Bank Regional library and open to the public; registration is not required.

Event Location: Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie, LA 70001

Date: Thu, Oct 16, 2014
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Literary Lions Book Club

The Literary Lions Book Club is hosted by Joseph J. DeSalvo, Jr., co-founder of the Faulkner Society, in his independent bookstore in the ground floor room where William Faulkner wrote his first novel, "Soldiers' Pay." The Book Club meets quarterly. This session of the club was devoted to "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears," specifically an examination of literary references of the book, including the title, a phrase from Dante's Divine Comedy. Members of the club were directed in advance to the NEA/BIG READ web site to download readers' guides. Book marks were provided to club members and Faulkner House Books offered the books to the club at a 15 per cent discount.

Event Location: 624 Pirate's Alley, Faulkner House, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Thu, Oct 16, 2014
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Bishop Perry Center Library Wing Opening

As it's primary literacy initiative of the year, the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. has created in honor of its namesake, William Faulkner, a special reading room wing for the new St. Catherine's Free Public Lending Library of the Bishop Perry Center Library. The Bishop Perry Center is a new mission for the disadvantaged of downtown New Orleans neighborhoods and serves all in need, regardless of religious preference. The Faulkner Society and its benefactor, Faulkner House, Inc. with George Jeansonne and her husband realtor Richard Jeansonne and his partner Michael Wilkinson, created the library this summer. The adjacent Faulkner Wing reading room facility opened to the general public November 2 as a free BIG READ event, with donations accepted to benefit the Bishop Perry Center. The event featured food donated by New Orleans restaurants and served by Tulane Students, all interning as part of the University's Community Service program, which places students with various non-profits. The event also included music by students of the Tulane School of Music. The library is issuing laminated ID cards, which are helpful to the poor, seniors, and other disadvantaged persons, who do not drive and need ID cards for a variety of purposes, including voter registration. The Faulkner Society is providing free copies of the 2014 BIG READ focus book, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears," along with copies of "Into the Beautiful North" and "The Devil's Highway" by Luis Alberto Urrea, who was a speaker for the Society's annual festival, "Words & Music," and for BIG READ. Free books distributed by the Society through the Bishop Perry Center are earmarked for the disadvantaged, including seniors, of downtown New Orleans neighborhoods.

Event Location: 1941 Dauphine Street, Second Floor Library, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Sun, Nov 2, 2014
Time: 6:30pm – 10:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

The Bishop Perry Book Club

The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. has created a Bishop Perry Center Book Club to meet at the Center the second Monday of each month at 1 p. m. for seniors and others who do not have work obligations and 6 p. m. for those who work. The initial, organizational meetings took place on Monday, November 10 and will featured a complete description of "The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears," along with a handout as a prelude to reading the book for discussion by club members at the January meeting, and a detailed description of "Into the Beautiful North" with a handout by Luis Alberto Urrea, as a prelude to reading the book for the December meeting. Free copies of the books were available for these initial meetings of the new book club, which was open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis. Donated refreshments were served. To join the Book Club and RSVP for the next event, December 8, contact Rosemary James, faulkhouse@aol.com. Special Note: 12 Teachers who were unable to attend the September orientation meeting, attended the November book club meeting and picked up their free books for their students then.

Event Location: 1941 Dauphine Street, Second Floor, Faulkner Wing Reading Room, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Mon, Nov 10, 2014
Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Date: Mon, Nov 10, 2014
Time: 6:00pm – 6:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

French Quarter Book Club, November Meeting

The French Quarter Book Club, which meets monthly, heard a discussion by literary scholar W. Kenneth Holditch of the plight of the immigrant, focusing on "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears" at its October 3 as a prelude to reading the book. Members of the club were directed at the October meeting to the NEA/BIG READ web site to download readers guides. Book marks were provided to club members and Faulkner House Books offered the books to the club at a 15 per cent discount. The club members discussed the book at the November meeting. Club members vote to read "Into the Beautiful North" and "The Devil's Highway," for the January meeting, as a follow-up to the immigration issues discussion begun with Mengestu's book.

Event Location: Armory, State Museum, Jackson Square, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Thu, Nov 13, 2014
Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Great Books Club: Special BIG READ Event

The Great Books Club of the Jefferson Parish Public Library, West Bank, meets on the third Thursday of each month to read classic literature. On November 19th the club met to discuss "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears" by Dinaw Mengestu. The Great Books Club has been meeting monthly for 11 years. Meetings are held in the West Bank Regional Library in Marrero, LA

Event Location: Jefferson Parish West Bank Regional Library , 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, LA 70058

Date: Wed, Nov 19, 2014
Time: 5:00pm – 6:30pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

New Orleans, Mon Amour: Improvisaton in Cuisine

BIG READ EVENT "How Necessary Improvisation by Ethnic Chefs Has Enriched New Orleans Cuisine " Ann Benoit is a commercial food photographer and culinary writer native to New Orleans. She is author and photographer of the highly acclaimed "Broussard's Restaurant and Courtyard Cookbook," photographer of "Magic In A Shaker," and author and photographer of "New Orleans’ Best Ethnic Restaurants," her latest book, which clearly demonstrates how the diverse immigration patterns of New Orleans have enriched the cuisine of New Orleans. Bounce along this fun-filled culinary tour of New Orleans’ top 100 ethnic restaurants. It’s a romp from Eastern European pop-ups to Brazilian churra’s winding through “American ethnic” and the most recent ethnic contributors to the City’s cuisine, mom and pop restaurateurs from Ethiopia. As an overture to Ethiopian-born American author Dinaw Mengestu’s incredible book, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears"—which focuses on themes of loss and how individual Ethiopian immigrants are coping with their new lives in America, Ms.Benoit will focus her remarks on food from Ethiopia and her presentation will include samples for the audience. Ms. Benoit will also give a toast to our Pan American Connections headliner, Luis Alberto Urrea, author of "Into the Beautiful North," with comments about Mexican food in New Orleans, with samples for the audience. Her book is a treasure for all who enjoy diverse dining and cooking experiences. The event was open to the public. To reserve, contact Faulkhouse@aol.com.

Event Location: Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom, 200 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Thu, Nov 20, 2014
Time: 12:00pm – 12:30pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

EAT DAT

"The Art of Improvisation in New Orleans Cuisine" Notorious "foodie" Randy Fertel, heir to the Ruth's Chris Steak House fortune and regular food writer, as well as author of the grand new book, "A Taste for Chaos," on the art of improvisation; and freelance food writer and Tulane Professor Rien Fertel, author of the new book, "Imagining the Creole City;" and food writer Michael Murphy, author of "EAT DAT, New Orleans," joined Chef Susan Spicer, owner of the renowned restaurant, Bayona, to discuss the ways in which improvisation, spontaneity have defined the art of New Orleans cuisine, earning New Orleans culinary artists hundreds of followers and imitators all over the world. Chef Spicer instigated the nouvelle cuisine, fusion food trends in New Orleans with her imaginative introduction of African Diaspora elements to her signature dishes. The event is an homage to the Ethiopian immigrant characters of the 2014 BIG READ focus novel, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears."

Event Location: Bayona Restaurant, 430 DAUPHINE STREET, New Orleans, LA 70122

Date: Thu, Nov 20, 2014
Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

BIG READ Lecture for College Students, Teachers, General Public

The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. and Loyola University's Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies presented a talk by bestselling non-fiction and fiction writer Luis Alberto Urrea, author of "The Devil's Highway," a non-fiction account of the human toll on immigrants and the novel "Into the Beautiful North," also about the human toll of immigration. This BIG READ event devoted to the literary inspiration of ethnic diversity, was to have included the author of the Society's 2014 BIG READ focus book, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears," Dinaw Mengestu, who first accepted, then backed out. Also included on the program was Acadiana author Darrell Bourque, who was Poet Laureate of Louisiana for two terms and who represents the Acadian culture of Southwest Louisiana, developed by French speaking immigrants from Nova Scotia. Bourque is the "Writer of the Year" awardee of the State Library of Louisiana and Louisiana Festival of the Book. Joining Bourque in poetry readings at the event were Loyola Creative Writing Students. The general public was invited to this free event. For questions, contact faulkhouse@aol.com.

Event Location: Dana Hall, Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Avenure, New Orleans, LA 70118

Date: Thu, Nov 20, 2014
Time: 6:00pm – 6:30pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

BIG READ WORKSHOP: COMPELLING CHARACTERS

BIG READ WORKSHOP: COMPELLING CHARACTERS "Creating Compelling Characters for Books, TV, and Film" Featuring successful screenwriters and novelists Carlton Eastlake and Loraine Despres, this workshop dealt with one of the cornerstones for writing any kind of fiction: characters who draw you into their lives and hold you there until there stories are finished, leaving you wanting to revisit them again and again: either because you love them or because you want to strangle them because of how they act or fail to act or because they inspire feelings of great compassion. As examples of memorable characters, Carl and Loraine introduced the triumvirate of African refugees who are the central characters of Dinaw Mengestu’s compelling novel "The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears," the Faulkner Society’s focus novel for its 2014 BIG READ project. The two screenwriters in evaluating the novel concluded that, while it is a beautiful novel, it is not likely to become a successful film as the story is too internal, a bit like Walker Percy's "The Moviegoer," too lacking in engaging action. The story, they said, would have to be overhauled substantially to create a successful film project. It could be done, they said, and they had ideas about how to do it, primarily with flashbacks to action during the wars that drove them out of Africa to bring home the impact of point of post traumatic stress, but it would not be an easy task. Five-page writing samples were submitted for critiques following the workshop discussion. The workshop was free to audit. Fee for writers seeking critiques was $50. The workshop was open to the public.

Event Location: Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom, 200 Royal St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Date: Fri, Nov 21, 2014
Time: 9:30am – 11:00am

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Master Class for Writing Students, Teachers, general public

THE 2012 BIG READ: "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears" A Joint Venture of The National Endowment for the Arts and its partners; The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society; St. Mary's Church. Part One: "How to Create a Winning Manuscript" This session featured novelist George Bishop, author of "The Night of the Coment" and judge of the Faulkner Society's Short Story by a High School Student Category of the "William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition." He introduced the winner, Adia Hessier, a student at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, who read her winning manuscript. Part Two: "The Lives of Immigrants: Inspiration for the Arts" Principal speaker was Luis Alberto Urrea, author of "Into the Beautiful North" and "The Devil's Highway." The program was to have been introduced, with the focus book broken down into learning components, by Professor Nghana Lewis of Tulane, an expert in literature of the African diaspora. Dr. Lewis, also a practicing criminal attorney, was in a trial and had to cancel her appearance. Faulkner Society co-founder Rosemary James, took her place and discussed the Society's BIG READ focus book, "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears," which revolves around three immigrants from war-torn African nations, and their lives which occur in the crack between two worlds — the ones they have left and the world of their new land, America. They are dangling between the two worlds hoping to jump over the divide and land successfully in the American Dream. Luis Urrea's work and the work of Dinaw Mengestu deal with similar themes of loss, longing for a new identity, and post traumatic stress, as well as the fact that immigrants must improvise daily just to live. Throughout the BIG READ program, the themes of immigration and improvisations were intertwined, especially for the programs of BIG READ which were part of the Faulkner Society's annual festival, "Words & Music, a Literary Feast in New Orleans."The 2014 "Master Class" was presented by the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society and partners with a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Free to Louisiana students, teachers, and librarians on a first come-first serve basis with reservations to Faulkhouse@aol.com, originally, the Society had reservations from 31 schools to participate. When the BIG READ focus book author, Dinaw Mengestu, backed out late in the fame, most of the schools cancelled their reservations to attend the Master Class. They did, however, accept our distribution of free books for their students to read as a teacher instructed class assignment. And, then, several schools which had said they would attend regardless, did not show up on the day of the class, without prior notice. In spite of the relatively low attendance (we had nearly 800 in attendance for our BIG READ Master Class in 2012), the students who did come were enthusiastic about Luis Urrea's talk. We distributed copies of "Into the Beautiful North" to teachers (who already had copies of the Mengestu Book) who brought their students to the master class. Additionally, a number of disadvantaged seniors, who are reading both the Urrea and the Mengestu books for the Bishop Perry Book Club, came to the Master Class to hear Urrea speak, along with several writers registered for Words & Music.

Event Location: St. Mary's Catholic Church, Old Ursuline Convent Complex, 1100 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70118

Date: Fri, Nov 21, 2014
Time: 10:30am – 1:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

2014 BIG READ/Words & Music Keynote Address

The 2014 Keynote address for BIG READ and for Words & Music, a Literary Feast in New Orleans, which encompasses a number of important BIG READ events, took place in the Riverview Room of the Hotel Monteleone. Featured speaker was Dr. Randy Fertel, whose monumental new book, "A Taste for Chaos: The Hidden Order in the Art of Improvisation," was previewed at Words & Music and which, along with the BIG READ focus book, "The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears," inspired the theme for Words & Music, 2014: "The Art of Improvisation in Words, Music, and Life." Dr. Fertel was introduced by Dr. Lawrence Powell, author of "The Accidental City," and Rebecca Snedeker, co-author of "Unfathomable City." All three authors focused on the cultural richness of New Orleans which has resulted from 300 years of new ethnic infusions by immigrants and their talents for improvisation which made it possible for them to survive, first, and build a great culture, second.The event, which included a social hour, was open to the public.

Event Location: Hotel Monteleone, Riverview Room, 200 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Date: Fri, Nov 21, 2014
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

BIG READ: Spiritual Journeys: Journey to the Sun

"The Immigrant Priest Who Settled California: Blessed Junipera Serra" Noted biographer Gregory Orfalea, Ph.D. was the featured author, interviewed by the Rev. William F. Maestri, teacher, theologian, and author of 40-plus books on the interface of social culture and politics with the Church, who currently is Director of the Bishop Perry Center, an outreach mission of the Archdiocese of New Orleans for the disadvantaged and cultural center for the downtown neighborhoods of New Orleans. Dr. Orfalea’s new book, "Journey to the Sun," is the fascinating story of Blessed Junipero Serra, the Spanish Franciscan Priest, who is responsible for the founding of California with his creations of the missions which are now the major cities of California. Serra, a remarkable man, traveled to California from his parental home in Mallorca, an arduous journey in the 18th Century, and then traveled thousands of miles all around the West Coast establishing missions and converting Native Americans to Christianity. In introducing the program and speakers, Faulkner Society Co-Founder Rosemary James explained that Father Serra's life was like the lives of the African immigrant characters of "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears," a life of daily improvisation, making do with what was available and capturing the essence of the moment at hand. She pointed out as well that Serra was, like Mengestu's characters, a stranger in a land whose inhabitants were frequently hostile to newcomers. During the event, Father Maestri and Dr. Orfalea discussed the themes of displacement, loss, and longing for home, which are the central themes of the Society's BIG READ focus novel by Dinaw Mengestu. The event took place in an appropriate venue: St. Mary's Catholic Church, referred to as either St. Mary's Italian Church, because it was the church of the huge waves of Italian and Sicilian immigrants who settled in downtown New Orleans. It is also referred to as Our Lady of Victory Church. It is part of the historic complex including the oldest building in the Mississippi Valley, the Ursulines Convent, which currently has an exhibit dedicated to the Battle of New Orleans and the long held belief that New Orleans, under Andrew Jackson, was victorious because the Nuns of the Convent prayed for victory over the British. Attendees at this event were able to see the exhibit after the discussion and also were invited to a tea party in the convent garden. The event was free and open to the public. Free copies of "Journey to the Sun" and "The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears" of the two books were made available to seniors of the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, and Bywater neighborhoods of New Orleans, who are members of the library at the new Bishop Perry Center in Faubourg Marigny. The two books will be discussed in tandem at the January meeting of the Bishop Perry Book Club. The Center has been a partner in BIG READ 2014. The audience included members of the church parish which includes both St. Mary's and St. Louis Cathedral, members of the Christopher House community for the elderly in Faubourg Marigny, Maronite nuns of a downtown community, members of the Serra Club of New Orleans, several seminarians volunteering at Bishop Perry Center, and students from NOCCA, Tulane, UNO, and Loyola. downtown neighborhood residents, and registered guests of Words & Music.

Event Location: St. Mary's Catholic Church, Old Ursuline Convent Complex, 1100 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Sun, Nov 23, 2014
Time: 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

Spiritual Journeys: Tea with Father Maestri and Dr. Orfalea

The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society and the Bishop Perry Center hosted a tea party honoring Dr. Gregory Orfalea, author of "Journey to the Sun," and other BIG READ and Words & Music faculty. Dr. Orfalea signed his books at the event. Home-made Food for the teaparty was provided by Co-Chairs Dee Lynott, Nan Landry, and Norma Fortunata.

Event Location: Historic Ursulines Convent Garden, 1100 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70116

Date: Sun, Nov 23, 2014
Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

BIG READ: Words & Music Finale

FAULKNER FOR ALL: The 24th gala black-tie annual meeting of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. Judges of the 2014 "William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition" presented their winners, runners-up, and finalists, and the Society bestowed its annual ALIHOT (A Legend In His/Her Own Time) Awards for literature, music, and philanthropy to Moira Crone, Darrell Bourque, and Luis Alberto Urrea, Literature; Stanley Crouch, Music; and Randy Fertel, Philanthropy. The event was “The Last Word” of Words & Music, 2014 and included cocktails, dinner, and dancing. The event began with a memorial to three Faulkner Society underwriters, who had supported the Society with generous grants since the Society was founded in 1990 until their deaths this year. Families of these "angels"—Theodosia Murphy Nolan, Ralph Lupin, and Hartwig Moss, III—were invited as special guests of honor for the evening. The 2014 toastmaster for the event was New Orleanian Morgan Molthrop—entrepreneur, writer, social critic, and entertaining speaker—who is author of the new book "Andrew Jackson’s Playbook: 15 Strategies for Success," an homage to “Old Hickory” and the victory of New Orleans over the British. The Faulkner Society has adopted Andrew Jackson as our American hero of improvisation. Many consider the victory nothing short of a miracle and Andrew Jackson a miracle worker, coping with Jean Lafitte’s band of piratical renegades and the highly contentious populace of New Orleans to forge a victory. Over the years, Jackson has become a symbol of the ability of New Orleanians to rise above potential disasters, such as the Battle of New Orleans, and actual disasters, such as Katrina, to overcome all obstacles, to keep the faith and keep on truckin’ when all seems lost. Morgan let writers and readers in on how Andy Jackson’s strategies can work for us, if we are just willing to improvise, to capture the moment at hand, and to "carpe diem!" In his monologue and introductions, Morgan interjected humor into the dual 2014 themes of immigration and improvisation. Among those Morgan introduced was Alexandra Cichon, Ph. D., a clinical psychologist and Oxford University-trained, award-winning actress. Alexandra, who presented a paper earlier in the festival, is the daughter and granddaughter of Polish immigrants and the epitome of a successful, multi-tasking career woman. She performed a stand-alone improvisation, based on the musings of three immigrants—grandmother, mother, and daughter— forced to improvise in order to create a new lives in a new land. Her clever, original monologue demonstrated how attitudes changed with each generation. Music for the event was provided by the Bounce Back Quartet, a young group gaining traction with gigs around town. The members are Tulane University students who are taking a course this year in traditional New Orleans jazz. As part of this course, they also play with Ani and the Tulane Trad Band. The Quartet is Ben Russell on drums, Aurelien Barnes on trumpet, Sam Weil on Base, and Rob Kellner on piano.

Event Location: Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom, 200 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Date: Sun, Nov 23, 2014
Time: 7:30pm – 11:00pm

Book: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

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