Author: Illustration by Christina Brown

Lettres d'Amour

Definitely an acquired taste. That’s the inescapable conclusion of one who didn’t grow up here but has dwelt here for 30 years, gradually transitioning from outsider to insider. Ironically, I was born in Baton Rouge, in the very hospital where…

Lettres d'amour: Parlez Français Tous les Jours

Throughout my first visit to New Brunswick, in late 2018, I was amazed. As I toured Canada’s only bilingual province, French and English were visible everywhere — in government and on signs, media and the service industry. I asked myself:…

Lettres d'amour: Paying Attention on Bayou Teche

“Pay attention, and it will break your heart a dozen times before dinner,” wrote Margaret Renkl in “Surviving Despair in the Great Extinction,” in The New York Times Opinion section on May 13, 2019. I have been blessed to live…

Lettres d'amour: Old Songs and Old Cypress

I’m a folklorist by training, and explaining what that means can be tricky. One way to say it that folklorists often deal with lost things. The hard truth is that, as society evolves, things fall by the wayside, often beautiful…

Lettres d'amour: Red Brick Road

In one of my earliest memories, I’m toddling around the concrete edges of the Girard Park duck pond, looking up at my father. He’s in his 20s, with a backpack slung over his shoulder. The specific details are as murky…

Lettres d’amour: Raconte

Stories have always been part of the fabric of my life growing up in South Louisiana. It’s how my family passed time. No matter what any of us were supposed to be doing — driving from Houma to Gatlinburg, Tennessee…

Lettres d'amour: Sunday Repast

Though he lived and worked all the way in Baton Rouge, my Uncle Lambert would make the trip every Sunday with his wife Faye (my dad’s sister), and their daughter Lorna to my grandfather’s house in Bayou Portage, a tiny…

Sense of Place

My entrée into writing novels began with an embarrassing idea. I imagined that being a newspaper journalist, I could whip out popular paperbacks as fast as breaking news. To make matters worse, my first historical romance was set along the…

Becoming Cajun

A shuttle ride in Houston sets a young teen on the course to learn his culture