I’m not the type of person who likes to take trips alone. I love how conversation makes the drive so much shorter, how easy it is to bond over mutually appreciated music, and how the sights and landmarks along the way seem more interesting and vivid if you’ve got a friend to point them out to you (because you really should be concentrating on your driving, after all.) There is just something so satisfying about sharing a journey with another person, regardless of where the journey takes you.
On September 30th, we all get the chance to take a journey together. WRBH is partnering with One Book, One New Orleans to create a sort of giant book club, and even if you hate leaving your home, didn’t buy the book, don’t like to read, or CAN’T read for whatever reason, you still can participate. All you have to do is tune in next Monday at 11 am and take the first step on our trip together through the exotic and dreamlike book LOUISIANA: A NOVEL by Erna Brodber. Amazon describes this amazing book here:
“This is the first American publication of Brodber’s eagerly awaited third novel. In Louisiana: A Novel she explores her continuing fascination with the power of the past to live in the present.
Here, Ella Townsend, a young African American anthropologist whose roots are Caribbean, researches Louisiana folk life and discovers not only the world of voodoo and carnival but also the mystical connection of the living and the dead. With her tape recorder she explores the rich heritage of Creole Louisiana, but Mammy, Ella’s primary informant, dies during the project. Then from beyond the grave she continues to transmit messages. Although the academically minded Ella is dubious about the authenticity of the medium, gradually, as she confronts her prejudices, the tapes convey enriching mysteries about the past lives of Mammy and her friend Lowly. From this supernatural experience, Ella learns much about herself and her background. Louisiana celebrates the magico-religious culture of hoodoo, conjure, obeah, and myal.
Like Brodber’s previous works, Myal: A Novel and Jane and Louisa Will Soon Come Home, Louisiana reveals the author’s fascinating gift of myth-making. The Louisiana of her title represents two places sharing the same name—the American state and Brodber’s native parish in Jamaica. Through this blending of localities, Brodber shows how elements from the African diaspora are kept alive in the Creole culture of the Americas.”
Carolyn Cornia, with her honeyed, lilting voice and deeply spiritual nature, was the obvious choice to read this book on the air. It’s a short novel, only nine segments, so this will be a relatively quick trip, but an intense one. If you can’t listen at 11 am Monday through Friday, you can catch the replay at 10 pm on those nights. Please Join WRBH, 88.3 FM and One Book, One New Orleans on this journey, and then share your experiences with others who have also come along.
Here is a schedule of events: