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New Orleans Memories - One Writer's City

New Orleans Memories

One Writer's City

By Carolyn Kolb
Hardcover : 9781617038839, 208 pages, 45 b&w photographs, September 2013

A passionate native's salute to the past and present glories of the Crescent City


Carolyn Kolb provides a delightful and detailed look into the heart of her city, New Orleans. She is a former Times-Picayune reporter and current columnist for New Orleans Magazine, where versions of these essays appeared as “Chronicles of Recent History. ” Kolb takes her readers, both those who live in New Orleans and those who love it as visitors, on a virtual tour of her favorite people and places. Divided into sections on food, Mardi Gras, literature, and music, these short essays can be read in one gulp or devoured slowly over time. Either way, the reader will find a welcome companion and guide in Kolb.

In bringing her stories up to date, Kolb's writings reflect an ongoing pattern of life in her fascinating city. Since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, some of these things remembered will never return. Some of the people whose stories Kolb tells are no longer with us. It is important to her, and to us, that they are not forgotten. Kolb, and her readers, can honor them by sharing and enjoying their stories. As Kolb says, “When things fail, when the lights go out and the roof caves in and the water rises, all that remains, ultimately, is the story. ” This collection of such stories was made with love.


"Carolyn Kolb takes readers on a delightful stroll through yesteryear, New Orleans style. Combining a visitor's wonder and a native's insight, she recalls the best of the past, both distant and recent—what we ate, what we read, the music we heard, the traditions we cherished. Filled with anecdotes and illustrations, New Orleans Memories brings a smile to the lips—and to the hearts—of those who love New Orleans."

- Florence M. Jumonville, Louisiana and Special Collections Department, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans

"New Orleans is so rich in history that those who care about the city need to read a book like this just to keep pace. Carolyn Kolb is an historian who looks at the past not just from the perspectives of generals and politicians, but as experienced by the everyday people who collectively established their own cultural beachhead. As a history columnist for New Orleans Magazine, her ongoing assignment has been to look for stories from contemporary history—those tales where there are still living sources who can provide recollections that might otherwise be lost forever. Not only do the columns provide entertaining reading, but they provide an important civic function by preserving memories in print. This is a book to be enjoyed, but don't delay—the future is advancing rapidly."

- Errol Laborde, executive vice president and editor-in-chief for Renaissance Publishing LLC

"Almost anywhere you turn in Carolyn Kolb's delightful homage to her native city, something novel or long forgotten leaps to life—old restaurants and recipes, defunct newspapers and shuttered bookstores, ballrooms and theaters gone to seed, plus a cast of characters as colorful as the city they once inhabited. Kolb knows these institutions and people intimately, and she writes about them with grace and circumspection."

- Lawrence N. Powell, professor emeritus in the Department of History at Tulane University and author of The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans

"Carolyn Kolb's book is titled New Orleans Memories: One Writer's City, but it encompasses anyone who has ever put pen to paper in the Crescent City. It is both personal and universal and will be a joy to read over and again."

- Nell Nolan, social columnist, teacher, and actress