Friday, January 20, 2012

Rekindled Romance, a review of Madame Vieux Carré

Reading Madame Vieux Carré” copyright 2012 Kristin Fouquet

My week started off badly. Sprinting to the phone, I sprained my right gastrocnemius and found I could no longer stand or walk without assistance. As humbling an experience as it was, I decided to accept it as an opportunity to slow down and spend some time reading. I bought Madame Vieux Carré: The French Quarter of the Twentieth Century by Scott S. Ellis as a research book. I’m writing a novel set in the Quarter in 1961 and I thought the book would be a good resource. Well, it certainly was, but it became so much more for me.

While I have always loved the French Quarter of my hometown, New Orleans, I found myself falling more in love with her as I made my way through the pages of this book. Mr. Ellis did thorough research and even accounted personal experiences as an inhabitant of the neighborhood in the 1980s. As I hobbled back and forth on crutches between reading, I contemplated my own aging. I was a denizen of the Vieux Carré when I was ages 20-23 in the early 1990s. It was an impressionable time for me for many reasons and I felt emotionally safe in Madame’s world. One does not simply dwell in the French Quarter, one has a relationship with her. You become a character in her ever-changing play.

This book is a scholarly work of history, including endnotes in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style. However, it is endlessly accessible with moments of great humor and eyewitness accounts. A large part of my affection for Madame Vieux Carré is my belief it was a labor of love. I do not know Mr. Ellis personally nor professionally, but the author writes with such eloquence and honesty, I make the assumption. Only several years shy of being three centuries old, Madame wears her beauty well. While I live Uptown, I will in the days to come be off of these crutches and once again visit the Vieux Carré. I will traverse her streets with a deeper love for knowing more of her secrets.

Madame Vieux Carré

Kristin Fouquet
January 20, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dancing With Myself at Sea Minor

Happy New Year, everybody! 

After the wonderful AJ Hayes named my second book, Rampart & Toulouse, as one of his top 5 books 

of 2011, the generous Nigel Bird offered me the opportunity to interview myself at Sea Minor

Self-indulgent? Maybe, but I was so honored I couldn't refuse.