Elysian Fields by Mark LaFlaur

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A wholly involving story with Faulkner-ian characters in a fully realized setting.


Simpson Weems is a 36-year-old aspiring poet whose life has been on hold—to the breaking point. All he needs to fulfill his potential is to move to San Francisco, but he’s torn between his long-held dream of being a great artist and obligations to his aged, ailing mother and his emotionally volatile brother, the all-demanding Bartholomew. Will someone in his family have to die before he can get to California? And how might that be arranged?

Written “on location” in New Orleans and set shortly before Hurricane Katrina, Elysian Fields combines menace, the comic strangeness of Flannery O’Connor, and hints of magical realism to convey vivid, original characters and a Crescent City that is both recognizable and more odd than visitors usually see.

About Mark LaFlaur

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Louisiana native Mark LaFlaur grew up in the South, mostly in Louisiana. He earned a master of fine arts degree at Louisiana State University, where he worked on the literary magazine Exquisite Corpse. His writings have been published in the Village Voice, Los Angeles Times Book Review, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Boston Review, and about a hundred articles have appeared in encyclopedias and trade books published by Macmillan, Oxford University Press, etc. He has worked in book publishing in New York and San Francisco and as a freelance writer and editor in New Orleans, where he wrote Elysian Fields. He moved to New York in 2001. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005 he founded Levees Not War, a New York–based, New Orleans–dedicated blog focusing on infrastructure, the environment, and progressive politics. He and his wife, Janet, live in Kew Gardens, New York, where he is at work on a new novel.
Published March 6, 2013 by Mid-City Books. 414 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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on May 15 2013

A wholly involving story with Faulkner-ian characters in a fully realized setting.

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