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Rob Walker, columnist for The New York Times Magazine, energises the lately enervated worlds of memoir and travelogue with his book-length debut, 'Letters From New Orleans', a reconnaissance of a city obsessed with the forensic details of denial. Walker traded his New York life, including a decent media job, back in January of 2000. He and his girlfriend set up shop in New Orleans and soon after, Walker began sending, via email, 'The Letter From New Orleans' to interested parties. All fourteen pieces, along with additional material and photo spectra, are included in the book. Subjects covered include: celebratory gunfire, rich people, Michelle Shocked, the riddle of race relations today, robots, fine dining, drunkenness, urban decay, debutantes, the nature of identity, Gennifer Flowers, the song 'St James Infirmary', and mortality.
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About the Author

Rob Walker is a columnist ("Consumed") for The New York Times Magazine. He is also a contributing writer for Inc. Magazine. He lives in New York.

Reviews

Rob Walker is a wonderful writer with a gentle yet comprehensive inquisitiveness, the rigorous, observant eye of a journalist, and the light, poetic touch of an artist. He has managed to make New Orleans-a city that has been documented and written about for centuries-seem completely fresh and unfamilar and wholly compelling. Letters from New Orleans is a lovely book, and so much more. -- David Rakoff, author of Fraud, Author of Fraud This three-year meditation on life and death in New Orleans is as wistful as absinthe, as funky as a muffuletta at a joint off Tchoupitoulas. -- Jed Horne, author of Desire Street: A True Story of Death and Deliverance in New Orleans This book is far more than a poetic testament to a strange and wonderful town. It's a story about a city boy who recognizes the need to slow down and observe carefully - a story of a couple who learns to let our world's odd richness really sink in. I recommend it to anyone who feels life is going by too fast. -- Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life? ...[T]he quality that makes Walker's 'modest series of stories about a place that means a lot to [him]' rewarding reading is his immersion in the local. Neighborhood bars, regional history, hometown notables and a dash of mayoral politics reign in the recurring presence of New Orleans' dominating event, Mardi Gras. Walker's book, 'not a memoir, a history, or an expose,' won't help a tourist get around in New Orleans, but it will help him or her see beyond the tour guide's pointed finger. Publishers Weekly ...a captivating tale. -- June Sawyers, The Chicago Tribune Fresh and poignant Forbes It recalls writers such as V.S. Naipaul, who approach cities and countries with a hungry interest in demolishing false expectations... -- Flak Magazine ...Pointed, witty insights... The Times-Picayune [When Walker] delves into New Orleans' culture and character, you're reminded why the city is such a treasure. Msnbc Its insider-outsider perspective and street-level historical explorations make it essential for anyone interested in New Orleans. -- Maximum Rock'n'Roll We strongly recommend this enlightening, eccentric, and most importantly highly entertaining book. -- FreeWilliamsburg.com ...Streetwise, conversational in tone, unimpressed by cant, and willing to grapple with the city's weird, compelling racial heritage. -- Quiet Bubble I've read very few essays, articles, books...that really captures a city, a town, or a "place" so vividly... -- Time Enough at Last A series of e-mails that turned into a book with soul. -- AnimaMundi Walker's musings reveal him to be an astute observer of human nature... Booklist [Walker] has provided an informal, entertaining, and insightful guide to New Orleans... Library Journal

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