So excited about this event! Now I just need to get to New Orleans for it! 
michaelaross:

Wayne Baquet at his restaurant Lil’ Dizzy’s, New Orleans, LA, 2014  (Photo by Harold Baquet)
The Detective’s Descendants:  The Famous Baquet Family of New Orleans and their ties to Afro-Creole Detective John Baptiste Jourdain (the first African American Detective Ever to Make National News).
When I began researching and writing the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case, I thought I might be the only person alive who knew the story.  Although the case had made national news throughout the summer of 1870, by the 21st century it somehow was all but forgotten despite the fact that the story was filled with historically significant events (including the sleuthing done by John Baptiste Jourdain—the first African American detective ever to make national news).  As I began to discuss my research at history conferences, however, I was contacted by descendants of key characters in the story including by a woman named Isabel Baquet, who lives in Atlanta. She had been doing genealogical research and discovered that her husband Edward is a descendant of J. B. V. Jourdain, the father of Detective Jourdain in the Digby case. She had seen online that I had delivered a conference paper about the Jourdains and was curious as to its content. Isabel and I became fast friends, sharing our knowledge of J. B. V., his wives Aimee and Marie, and their children.
Isabel led me to other Jourdain descendants, including her uncle Wayne Baquet, owner with his wife Janet of the renowned Creole restaurant Lil Dizzy’s on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans. Wayne and Janet are part of a storied branch of the Baquet clan. Wayne’s father and mother were also famous New Orleans restaurateurs. Other forbears were musicians who helped invent Jazz.  Wayne’s brother is the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet. It is a complicated story, but both Wayne and Janet are Jourdain descendants, and they hold the title to the family tomb in New Orleans’s famous St. Louis Cemetery #1. Their restaurant is filled with memorabilia that commemorates the achievements of their family and other members of the city’s proud Afro-Creole community. On the center of the back wall is an enlarged copy of the petition the the Afro-Creoles of New Orleans presented to President Lincoln during the Civil War, urging him to grant black men the right to vote. At the bottom, amongst the petition’s signatories, are Detective Jourdain and his father J. B. V.
I am thrilled to announce that on October 17, 2014, Wayne and Janet will host me at a book event at their restaurant where we will discuss the role Detective Jourdain played in The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case and their family’s rich history.  The event starts at 5:30 and is free and open to the public:
Lil’ Dizzy’s Café 1500 Esplanade Ave. New Orleans, LA 70116 (504) 569-8997
For more on the history of the Baquet family and the famous gumbo at Lil’ Dizzy’s check out the Southern Foodways Alliance’s interview with Wayne:
http://www.southernfoodways.org/interview/lil-dizzys-cafe/

So excited about this event! Now I just need to get to New Orleans for it! 

michaelaross:

Wayne Baquet at his restaurant Lil’ Dizzy’s, New Orleans, LA, 2014  (Photo by Harold Baquet)

The Detective’s Descendants:  The Famous Baquet Family of New Orleans and their ties to Afro-Creole Detective John Baptiste Jourdain (the first African American Detective Ever to Make National News).

When I began researching and writing the Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case, I thought I might be the only person alive who knew the story.  Although the case had made national news throughout the summer of 1870, by the 21st century it somehow was all but forgotten despite the fact that the story was filled with historically significant events (including the sleuthing done by John Baptiste Jourdain—the first African American detective ever to make national news).  As I began to discuss my research at history conferences, however, I was contacted by descendants of key characters in the story including by a woman named Isabel Baquet, who lives in Atlanta. She had been doing genealogical research and discovered that her husband Edward is a descendant of J. B. V. Jourdain, the father of Detective Jourdain in the Digby case. She had seen online that I had delivered a conference paper about the Jourdains and was curious as to its content. Isabel and I became fast friends, sharing our knowledge of J. B. V., his wives Aimee and Marie, and their children.

Isabel led me to other Jourdain descendants, including her uncle Wayne Baquet, owner with his wife Janet of the renowned Creole restaurant Lil Dizzy’s on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans. Wayne and Janet are part of a storied branch of the Baquet clan. Wayne’s father and mother were also famous New Orleans restaurateurs. Other forbears were musicians who helped invent Jazz.  Wayne’s brother is the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet. It is a complicated story, but both Wayne and Janet are Jourdain descendants, and they hold the title to the family tomb in New Orleans’s famous St. Louis Cemetery #1. Their restaurant is filled with memorabilia that commemorates the achievements of their family and other members of the city’s proud Afro-Creole community. On the center of the back wall is an enlarged copy of the petition the the Afro-Creoles of New Orleans presented to President Lincoln during the Civil War, urging him to grant black men the right to vote. At the bottom, amongst the petition’s signatories, are Detective Jourdain and his father J. B. V.

I am thrilled to announce that on October 17, 2014, Wayne and Janet will host me at a book event at their restaurant where we will discuss the role Detective Jourdain played in The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case and their family’s rich history.  The event starts at 5:30 and is free and open to the public:

Lil’ Dizzy’s Café
1500 Esplanade Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70116
(504) 569-8997

For more on the history of the Baquet family and the famous gumbo at Lil’ Dizzy’s check out the Southern Foodways Alliance’s interview with Wayne:

http://www.southernfoodways.org/interview/lil-dizzys-cafe/

lastnightsreading:

Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards, 11/20/13

lastnightsreading:

Maya Angelou at the National Book Awards, 11/20/13

andotherstoriespublishing:

Leading up to this month’s publication of Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones, an Albanian novel translated by Clarissa Botsford, we’ve been delving a little deeper into all things Albanian (okay, we’re talking more google search than declassified files, but still). The fruits of labour? Five almost-certainly true, possibly interesting facts you probably didn’t know. About Albania. Let’s go. 
1. Its full name is Republika e Shqiperise. Don’t fancy hacking your way through the pronunciation? Fear not, because there’s also a fond nickname. Which is? Squiperia. Hmm…

andotherstoriespublishing:

Leading up to this month’s publication of Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones, an Albanian novel translated by Clarissa Botsford, we’ve been delving a little deeper into all things Albanian (okay, we’re talking more google search than declassified files, but still). The fruits of labour? Five almost-certainly true, possibly interesting facts you probably didn’t know. About Albania. Let’s go. 

1. Its full name is Republika e Shqiperise. Don’t fancy hacking your way through the pronunciation? Fear not, because there’s also a fond nickname. Which is? Squiperia. Hmm…

Ivan Vladislavic on SJ Naude

andotherstoriespublishing:

The stories in The Alphabet of Birds are full of quirky machines, hybrid musical compositions, and improvisatory dance and theatre pieces. These other artworks are keys to understanding the fictions themselves: they are intricate constructs, with their parts sourced in many different cultures and corners of the world, from German opera to Japanese Noh, from ruined castles in Bavaria to dilapidated farmhouses in the South African countryside, from the underground dance clubs of Berlin to the indoor ski slopes of Dubai. Like the music made by the ‘Victorian Native Ladies Society’ in one of the stories, the individual fictions contain a multitude of influences and elements, and their combinations are often unpredictable or dissonant. Yet the connections between the pieces are resonant, and they gradually reveal themselves as a set of variations on themes, making for an unusually tight-knit and satisfying volume. 

Read More

Ask the State Department to assist Nigeria in rescuing the kidnapped schoolgirls

litrant:

I don’t normally ask people to write to the government, but I’m making an exception because this is so crucial.

I sent this note through the U.S. Department of State’s website this morning:

===================
Dear Secretary Kerry,

I write to urge the U.S. State Department to do everything…

I expanded on Kel’s message just a little. If you’d like to use mine please feel free:

Dear Secretary Kerry,

I write to urge the U.S. State Department to do everything within your power to assist Nigeria in retrieving the more than 200 school girls who have been kidnapped by Boko Haram and are now reportedly being sold into sexual slavery.

These young women and girls are the future of Africa, and as Nigeria unites to demand their return, we have an opportunity to take a firm stand in support of human rights and the right of women to education and self-determination. The stand the U.S. takes on this issue can prevent future attacks like this one and a strong statement should be made. It is not out of the question that something as scary as this could happen in the western world if we allow these extremists to think they will go unpersued and unpunished.

Please do not let this slip below the radar, and exert the full power of your office to help these children.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,
Sarah Russo Sime
Brooklyn, NY

My brother’s totally amazing new work.
daniellrusso:

New electric fired pitcher and tumblers

My brother’s totally amazing new work.

daniellrusso:

New electric fired pitcher and tumblers

Awaiting the start of John Ashbery and Mark Ford @92y. Excited!!!

Awaiting the start of John Ashbery and Mark Ford @92y. Excited!!!

My first trip home to #Brooklyn after a #NBCC awards in 8 years. #taxi #happy

My first trip home to #Brooklyn after a #NBCC awards in 8 years. #taxi #happy

The @parisreview always shows up in the most unlikely places @Foliocue #launch w/ @seansime

The @parisreview always shows up in the most unlikely places @Foliocue #launch w/ @seansime