Sunday, July 27, 2014

These Books Will Change Your Life - The Olive Stain and Rampart & Toulouse by the Kristin Fouquet.

There is travel and read, planes and trains, hotels, and couches and coffee and run. There is also place, Philadelphia and Hartford, and New Orleans, both in person, just months ago, and now in the work of Kristin Fouquet, in this case The Olive Stain and Rampart & Toulouse, collections of stories about place, and people, and New Orleans, always, and abundantly, in all its sweaty, fetid, alcohol drenched glory. There are collections and writers we love. Writers of place and time, Raymond Carver, Junot Diaz, Drown certainly, Elizabeth Crane with The Messenger is Hot, Faulkner and the stories of Yoknapatawpha, and the wonderful and recently consumed Every Kiss A War by Leesa Cross-Smith. These are works that hang together, and that is what Fouquet does, and is, the voice of the jazz singer, the lost priest, moist apartments, Absinthe, rotting mansions, languid lovers, madness, and heat. It is the idea we have about New Orleans when we think about it, and the experience we have of it when when we go there and try to take it all in. Still, we can never hope to capture any of this quite like Fouquet does. She doesn't merely live it and breathe it. For her New Orleans is Oxygen and DNA, and she captures its rhythms and colors in the way only someone who lives there can do. Like a portrait, or a shadow, live, indelibly burned onto the page, and sure to change lives.

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