Louisiana authors make good summer reading

Staff Report

Summer and summer vacations make a great time to do some reading and Louisiana has produced a fair share of authors. Their books make great lazy day or beach books for the hot season. While there are too many to name, their works run the gamut from the undead to the athletic to the enslaved.

1.) Ann Rice: This New Orleans native became famous for her tales about the vampire Lestat in "Interview with a Vampire." The novel centers on vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac, who tells the story of his life to a reporter. The wildly popular book is the first in a series of stories.

2.) John Ed Bradley: The one-time LSU football player chronicled his life with the Tigers and his attempts at dealing with those years in "It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium." Bradley, an Opelousas native and Mandeville resident, penned "Tupelo Nights" and most recently, "Call Me By My Name," a look at love, life, and football in the face of racial adversity.

3.) John Kennedy Toole: The most famous work of this New Orleans native is almost mandatory reading for those from New Orleans or who love the city. "Confederacy of Dunces" follows eccentric slob Ignatius J. Reilly in the 1960s around the Crescent City. Published posthumously, the  book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981. 

4.) Ernest Gaines: "A Lesson Before Dying" and "A Gathering of Old Men" mark the most famous works from this native of Point Coupee Parish. Both novels address the treatment and status of blacks in the American South and have received rave reviews. Gaines, 83, has received the National Humanities Medal for his writings.

5.) Truman Capote: Born in New Orleans, but raised in Alabama, Capote burst onto the literary scene in 1948 with "Other Voices, Other Rooms," a novel about a teenage boy's homosexuality. Capote's fame increased with "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and, in the 1960s the crime classic "In Cold Blood."