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CD The Oak Ridge Boys have joined forces with the Dukes of Dixieland – along with a slew of guest singers – on When Country Meets Dixie. The old-timey mash-up takes peppy and dolorous turns, wending its way through classic numbers and jumpy solos. Among others, the bands and new voices hybridize “Are You From Dixie?,” “Closer Walk with Thee” and “Elvira.”

BIOGRAPHY William Jay Smith, himself a poet and author, knew Thomas Lanier “Tennessee” Williams since the two were young men in a poetry club together. In My Friend Tom: The Poet-Playwright Tennessee Williams, Smith brings us along for the ride of Williams’ life. He begins with Williams’ formative years in Missouri, his disenchantment with college and journalism and his frustrations as an early writer. In the latter chapters, he takes us through Williams’ time in the Northeast and abroad and his authorship of The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire and, eventually, his death.

HISTORY Lawrence N. Powell, director of Tulane University’s New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, has composed a comprehensive early history of the Crescent City in The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans. Beginning with La Salle, Bienville and Iberville’s early forays on the wild Mississippi River – the “Impossible River,” as Powell christens his first chapter – he leads us through over a century of rambunctious colonialism, delving into trade disputes, shifting economies and race relations, all the way through the growing pains of the Louisiana Territory.


NOVEL It is the early 22nd century. The world’s resources have been reserved for an aristocracy of “Heirs;” the underclasses have grown paranoid and provincial; and the city of New Orleans is a swampy archipelago. Malcolm de Lazarus is a “Not Yet,” waiting join the Heirs – until somebody hijacks his trust fund on the eve of its maturation. Malcolm sets out through the Islands of New Orleans to track down his fortune and the truth about the Heirs. In The Not Yet, Moira Crone paints a psychedelic vision of a futuristic dystopia that we all secretly worry about.

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