Thursday, October 8th
In 1872, French painter Edgar Degas is disillusioned by a lackluster career and haunted by the Prussian siege of Paris and the bloodbath of the Commune. Seeking personal and professional rebirth, he journeys to New Orleans, birthplace of his Creole mother. He is horrified to learn he has exchanged one city in crisis for another—post-Civil War New Orleans is a corrupt town occupied by hostile Union troops and suffering under the heavy hand of Reconstruction. He is further shocked to find his family deeply involved in the violent struggle to reclaim political power at all costs.
Despite the chaos swirling around him, Degas sketches and paints with fervor and manages to reinvent himself and transition his style from neoclassical into the emerging world of Impressionism. He ultimately became one of the masters of the new movement, but how did New Orleans empower Degas to fulfill this destiny?
A Tale of Two Cities…Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina…
A tale of two cities famed for revelry and danger--at risk of disappearing forever--and two globetrotting strangers seeking a port in the storm…
New Orleans natives Serena Antonelli, an Italian-American costume designer, and Jack Durand, a Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental reporter, meet on a fateful flight bound for Venice where they confront a shared destiny spawned by a national tragedy and a connection they could never have imagined or foretold.
While fierce storms blow in from the Adriatic, inundating the Global Rising Waters Conference where Jack is a keynote speaker, the acqua alta also threatens to drown Venice’s legendary carnival celebrations and sink Serena’s desperate plan to rescue her U.S. family’s century-old costume company from its post-Hurricane Katrina insolvency.
With 400 guests in glittering regalia poised to descend on a leaky palazzo, Serena and Jack ultimately share a magical night at Il Ballo di Carnevale. Soon they are entangled in a spellbinding interplay of history and romance that jeopardizes their chances of sustaining the passionate bond they’ve forged. Exposed, too, are threads of public corruption and private wounds that must be healed before the pair can put to rest the tumult back home in New Orleans and remake their lives as one.
A gripping saga of two conflicted lovers and two star-crossed cities that share surprising parallels, this compelling novel will linger in the memory long after its dramatic conclusion.
Michael Llewellyn discusses and signs his book, Creole Son. Ciji Ware discusses and signs her book, That Winter In Venice.
If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.