I'll always regret that I never visited New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina. I still had a wonderful, special, practically magical time when I spent time there in 2007, but I could tell there was something different, something lost that I would never get a chance to experience. It was an extension of the way I always feel as a tourist, wondering "what is this place really like?", and "who are the people who live here and could never live anywhere else, who have this place in their bones?"
More of This World or Maybe Another, Barb Johnson's collection of linked stories, is about those people. There's Delia, who runs The Bubble, the local laundromat that serves as a nexus for the neighborhood while struggling with forgiveness and infidelity. There's Dooley, her younger brother, who grows from a sensitive boy to a man whose plans to please his wife and child end in tragedy. There's also Pudge and Luis, Maggie, and Big Luce, all fragile heroes fighting to hang on to love and happiness no matter what the back streets of New Orleans throw at them.
There's so much for book clubs to discuss with More of This World or Maybe Another, from issues of sexuality and poverty to questions of identity and home. We have discussion questions available, and we have five copies to give away! Just leave a comment below about a book you've read where the sense of place is so strong it had you wishing you could go there. We'll pick 5 random winners from all entries received by midnight, Friday November 6th (US and Can only please).