Nola Face: A Latina's Life in the Big Easy

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Product Details
$24.95  $23.20
University of Georgia Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 8.5 X 0.45 inches | 0.56 pounds

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About the Author
BROOKE CHAMPAGNE is an assistant professor in the MFA program at the University of Alabama. She was awarded the inaugural William Bradley Prize for the Essay, and her work has been selected as notable in several editions of the Best American Essays anthology series. She is the recipient of the Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellowship in Prose. She lives in Northport, Alabama, with her husband and children.
Nola Face is unsparing, funny, and empathic all at once. There is so much vitality, humor, empathy, misery, and passion here! Brooke Champagne is the Mary Karr of her time. What's more (and what could be more?) this is going to be a rich new addition to the New Orleans canon. This is a marvelous and timely book.--Andrei Codrescu "author of New Orleans, Mon Amour"
In her unflinching and witty memoir, Brooke Champagne gets to the bone of it: family, identity, memory, and the complicated ways in which we relate to each other. In prose that is at once humorous, thought provoking, and emotionally challenging, Champagne asks us all to consider who we are, even when we like ourselves least. She shows us the beauty in looking for the truth, the beauty in trying to make a new way for those who come after us, in offering 'a different gift, a different kind of name.'--Ashley M. Jones "author of Magic City Gospel"
There is humor and candor and ardor here--all the doors, actually, opening into the rich, textured, contradictory city of New Orleans that shapes Champagne's ear and heart. The star of this memoir is Champagne's abuela, an 'Ecuadorian imp' who takes the author on beignet escapades, teaches her to 'lie in translation, ' and to shoplift Smurfette (for starters) from a drugstore. Toward the end, the abuela wants her granddaughter to write her stories--but which versions to tell? Luckily, we get them all. This account of a woman figuring out how to properly value her unusual inheritance is deeply thoughtful and highly entertaining.--Beth Ann Fennelly "Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs"
With tragic humor and comedic precision--and with a provisional equanimity she renames as 'bugginess'--Brooke Champagne wades into all her contradictions: white and Latina, Spanish and English, grad school educated and New Orleans WestBank funky, connoisseur of bounce, rap, Schopenhauer and Kenneth Burke, all the complexity of thought and feeling that turns a memoir into an essay. If the unexamined life is not worth living--as Socrates said--surely the examined life Brooke Champagne shares in Nola Face is a life worth reading.--Rodger Kamenetz "author of The Jew in the Lotus and The History of Last Night's Dream"