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French Quarter Fiction: The Newest Stories of America's Oldest Bohemia

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As One of the World's most legendary and unique places, for three centuries the French Quarter of New Orleans has been home and muse to countless artists. Anchored in this setting, 37 short stories are collected here for the first time. These works branch across every genre from mystery and romance to surrealism and prose poetry, as incomparable as the neighborhood from wh As One of the World's most legendary and unique places, for three centuries the French Quarter of New Orleans has been home and muse to countless artists. Anchored in this setting, 37 short stories are collected here for the first time. These works branch across every genre from mystery and romance to surrealism and prose poetry, as incomparable as the neighborhood from which they sprang, forming an eclectic mix of some of the most exciting modern fiction found anywhere. These characters also find themselves everywhere from Sarajevo on the eve of World War I to Algiers Point just across the Mississippi River, and their stories wander from the 18th Century New World to a rooftop view of Bourbon Street as the third millennium begins. Nothing else could hope to lift this neighborhood's veils of privacy so utterly. But most importantly, these are stories for anyone who loves great fiction, regardless if they have even heard of the French Quarter. Whether it's flash fiction, horror, or satire, when it comes down to it, these are simply great stories: breathtaking, beautiful, poignant, tragic and comic.


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As One of the World's most legendary and unique places, for three centuries the French Quarter of New Orleans has been home and muse to countless artists. Anchored in this setting, 37 short stories are collected here for the first time. These works branch across every genre from mystery and romance to surrealism and prose poetry, as incomparable as the neighborhood from wh As One of the World's most legendary and unique places, for three centuries the French Quarter of New Orleans has been home and muse to countless artists. Anchored in this setting, 37 short stories are collected here for the first time. These works branch across every genre from mystery and romance to surrealism and prose poetry, as incomparable as the neighborhood from which they sprang, forming an eclectic mix of some of the most exciting modern fiction found anywhere. These characters also find themselves everywhere from Sarajevo on the eve of World War I to Algiers Point just across the Mississippi River, and their stories wander from the 18th Century New World to a rooftop view of Bourbon Street as the third millennium begins. Nothing else could hope to lift this neighborhood's veils of privacy so utterly. But most importantly, these are stories for anyone who loves great fiction, regardless if they have even heard of the French Quarter. Whether it's flash fiction, horror, or satire, when it comes down to it, these are simply great stories: breathtaking, beautiful, poignant, tragic and comic.

30 review for French Quarter Fiction: The Newest Stories of America's Oldest Bohemia

  1. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    Years ago, when I was applying to graduate schools, the only scholarship offers I got from Ph.D. programs were from southern universities, all private, all prestigious. One was in Atlanta, one in Houston, and one in New Orleans. In the end I opted for Emory over Rice and Tulane, for a variety of reasons, mostly academic and some economic. During my time in Atlanta I visited The Big Easy on several occasions, usually for Jazz Fest or Mardi Gras, and whenever I did I felt vindicated in not choosin Years ago, when I was applying to graduate schools, the only scholarship offers I got from Ph.D. programs were from southern universities, all private, all prestigious. One was in Atlanta, one in Houston, and one in New Orleans. In the end I opted for Emory over Rice and Tulane, for a variety of reasons, mostly academic and some economic. During my time in Atlanta I visited The Big Easy on several occasions, usually for Jazz Fest or Mardi Gras, and whenever I did I felt vindicated in not choosing Tulane, not because it isn't a wonderful university (it surely is), but because I am certain that the combination of the best food and best music in the world, combined with plentiful liquor and relentless heat and humidity, would have done me in or rendered me senseless. I do not underestimate myself, but neither do I underestimate the seductive charm of the Crescent City, and this collection of stories, poems, and drink recipes captures a great deal of that charm. The biggest weakness in this collection is that while it starts off strongly with stories set in or about the Vieux Carre, it departs from that formula and veers off with stories that are only connected to the city by virtue of the biography of the authors, which is not redemption enough in some cases. This is a minor cavil however, as this is a most enjoyable anthology.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This book was very much like the French Quarter - it is so eclectic and the stories were a reflection of that. Even though I enjoyed some of the stories, many I did not. When I'm in the French Quarter, there are streets and areas I avoid because they insult my sensibilities and it was the same with some of the stories in this book. I liked that I could easily picture the sights, sounds, feelings and smells that were described because of my familiarity with the Quarter.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelli

    I picked the book up because everyone knows I love New Orleans, but good God, I could not get even halfway through the book before I gave up. The stories were not interesting in the least and left me wondering what the point of each story was. Needless to say, the book was a did-not-finish.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I really enjoyed the majority of these stories, they transport you into the cultural life of the French Quarter!

  5. 4 out of 5

    RaeAnna Rekemeyer

    French Quarter Fiction edited by Joshua Clark is a great anthology about one of America's most iconic cities. I love reading anthologies, but I hate reviewing them. This is a really good one, though. I've read it a few times over the years because it's full of great stories about one of my favorite places on Earth.  https://onthebl.org/2019/11/19/french... French Quarter Fiction edited by Joshua Clark is a great anthology about one of America's most iconic cities. I love reading anthologies, but I hate reviewing them. This is a really good one, though. I've read it a few times over the years because it's full of great stories about one of my favorite places on Earth.  https://onthebl.org/2019/11/19/french...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aehavs

    I found this in a bookstore in Buffalo, NY last summer. Damn, I was lucky to stumble upon it.. there are just so many eclectic stories in this anthology. I loved the weaving of cocktail, poem & short story & would recommend it to anyone who desires to make it to the French Quarter, or who dreams fondly of returning to the humid streets & alleys full of intoxicating inhabitants & characters. I found this in a bookstore in Buffalo, NY last summer. Damn, I was lucky to stumble upon it.. there are just so many eclectic stories in this anthology. I loved the weaving of cocktail, poem & short story & would recommend it to anyone who desires to make it to the French Quarter, or who dreams fondly of returning to the humid streets & alleys full of intoxicating inhabitants & characters.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I guess if I haven't picked this up since sometime last year, and I have no idea now where it is after our move, that I am not going to finish this one anytime soon. From what I remember of it, it was a far ranging anthology of stories that had some connection to New Orleans. I am not convinced that that is enough to bind these stories together in one volume. A few stories grabbed my attention, but for the most part, it was a slog. No rating as to try to assign a number at this point would be un I guess if I haven't picked this up since sometime last year, and I have no idea now where it is after our move, that I am not going to finish this one anytime soon. From what I remember of it, it was a far ranging anthology of stories that had some connection to New Orleans. I am not convinced that that is enough to bind these stories together in one volume. A few stories grabbed my attention, but for the most part, it was a slog. No rating as to try to assign a number at this point would be unfair. It's back on my nightstand and I am plugging away at it again. I finally finished it. Some interesting stories here. Some that are set in New Orleans, some that are written by New Orleans natives. Having visited the Crescent City a few times, I enjoyed the tales that mentioned locales that I recognized, but overall, I remain less than impressed with this collection. Not one of the tales was memorable enough to stick in my memory. Barely three stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charlane Brady

    The French Quarter Fiction stories brought back my love for New Orleans. I have not lived in my home state of Louisiana in years. Yes, I do yearn for New Orleans during the Saints football season and the Jazz Festival each year, but after reading these stories I truly miss the magic of New Orleans. The Vieux Carré. The food. The humidity. The music. The stories. The dialect. The characters. The camaraderie. The architecture. The love. The unique culture. But especially the characters. The charac The French Quarter Fiction stories brought back my love for New Orleans. I have not lived in my home state of Louisiana in years. Yes, I do yearn for New Orleans during the Saints football season and the Jazz Festival each year, but after reading these stories I truly miss the magic of New Orleans. The Vieux Carré. The food. The humidity. The music. The stories. The dialect. The characters. The camaraderie. The architecture. The love. The unique culture. But especially the characters. The characters hold all the magic. I loved the range of characters in these stories. There is magic for everyone. Y'heard? Awrite.

  9. 5 out of 5

    BJ Rose

    The synopsis for this book said it branches across genre - and that's true. It also said that romance is one of those genre - but I obviously have a different definition of romance. I was expecting blues stories, and ghost stories, stories that take place in cemeteries or crypts. I must say that I had absolutely no idea that almost everyone in the French Quarter (to judge by this anthology) is depressed or suicidal or homicidal or on drugs. I do not recommend this as a guide to attract tourists! The synopsis for this book said it branches across genre - and that's true. It also said that romance is one of those genre - but I obviously have a different definition of romance. I was expecting blues stories, and ghost stories, stories that take place in cemeteries or crypts. I must say that I had absolutely no idea that almost everyone in the French Quarter (to judge by this anthology) is depressed or suicidal or homicidal or on drugs. I do not recommend this as a guide to attract tourists! My main purpose in reading this book was to find some new authors to read, and I found two, so I guess my search was successful.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Short stories are often hard for me. I find myself reading too quickly, not absorbing the depth or complexities of the abstractions that require a reader to paint for themselves the vivid picture rendered by sparse but intentionally text. Yet, with a grounding in the cracks, corners, and cornices of the French Quarter, these tales all ring with a nostalgia or longing for a New Orleans that I've never really lived, but nonetheless feel drawn to celebrate, recognize, or at least adore. Many a fun r Short stories are often hard for me. I find myself reading too quickly, not absorbing the depth or complexities of the abstractions that require a reader to paint for themselves the vivid picture rendered by sparse but intentionally text. Yet, with a grounding in the cracks, corners, and cornices of the French Quarter, these tales all ring with a nostalgia or longing for a New Orleans that I've never really lived, but nonetheless feel drawn to celebrate, recognize, or at least adore. Many a fun read within!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mary Pamela

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received this book as a gift from my boss when she visited New Orleans a week ago. My preferred reading material is romance, therefore my review may be lower than someone who enjoys literature. I have to admit that it takes me a while to get through the quirky short stories. I tried reading them in order, but later decided to visit the table of contents, and choose titles that speak to me. So far I enjoyed "Fairy Tale," because of the dialect and how the protagonist arrived in New Orleans. I'v I received this book as a gift from my boss when she visited New Orleans a week ago. My preferred reading material is romance, therefore my review may be lower than someone who enjoys literature. I have to admit that it takes me a while to get through the quirky short stories. I tried reading them in order, but later decided to visit the table of contents, and choose titles that speak to me. So far I enjoyed "Fairy Tale," because of the dialect and how the protagonist arrived in New Orleans. I've read 3 quirky stories so far.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Katie J

    I really enjoyed this book of short stories. There were a lot of great authors who represented New Orleans in a greatly varied way. New Orleans, to me, is relative to the user so it is fitting that each author crafted his or her characters to represent varied aspects of the city, times, and histories of N.O. There were only two stories I wasn't particularly interested in, but the rest were awesome.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angelica Archangelica

    I bought this in high school in the Garden District Book Shop at a Poppy Z. Brite book signing. I remember, I'd spray-painted my jeans black because I couldn't afford to have an edgier wardrobe. I remember Poppy was so sweet when he signed my copy and looked right at me and saw me, I could have cried.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aimée

    For the most part, the stories collected in this book (which, although a portion of the proceeds go to a Katrina fund, was written in pre-diluvian times), are entertaining, stirring, humorous, thought-provoking, well-done, etc., there are some clunkers. Bonus: a previously unpublished Tennessee Williams short story awaits you at the end. It's not that great, but it's worth reading.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gail Gray

    I'm still reading but so far the stories are as odd, quirky and poignant as the French Quarter rats, (what one author calls folks who live there). I'm thoroughly enjoying myself and wishing this peek into the courtyards and dysfunctions would never end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    People who love NOLA and write about it are truly creative and unique. This books is filled with the characters you see or imagine in the Quarter. Only 2 of the essays didn't keep my attention but the remainder were thought-provoking in various ways.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maryann

    One of the lines in one of the stories in this collection said that the French Quarter heals. For some of us, when we find it for the first time, a part of us that was missing finally feels at home. The vast majority of the stories in this collection reminded me of that feeling.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Love NOLAand enjoyed many of these stories, some more that others. Would recomemd to anyone who loves the Cresent City.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janall

    Not enjoying this book, Sad stories of Sad lives, more Vegas than FQ. I just couldn't make myself finish- sent to goodwill

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cornelia

    One of only a few books I have not been able to finish. And I dearly love New Orleans. The stories just never grabbed me. After a few years of it sitting on the table, I finally let it go.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carmen Thong

    Great collection of short stories, gives a touch of New Orleans without being cliche ridden.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jen Hogan

    My friends and I just happened to be at a book shop in New Orleans on the day that the editor of this book and some of the authors were doing a reading. It was a good time :)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paul Alford

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Desirae

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Edmondson

  27. 4 out of 5

    David Kimberly

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Manintheboat

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