Toby LeBlanc is a mental health therapist in Austin, Texas. While he may sleep under Texas stars, he will only ever be able to call the prairies and bayous of Louisiana his home. He was recently named a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Award in the Southeast region. His forthcoming short story collection, Soaked, is about Louisiana 50 years in the future and depicts how culture mixes with climate change.
11:30 am to 12:30 pm
House Committee Room 4
Fiction: Men Write About Social Issues, Exploration, Growth, and Loss
with Larry Gray, Philip Jason, Toby LeBlanc, Amos Jasper Wright IV, and moderator Chris Tusa
12:45 pm to 1:30 pm
Cavalier House Books Tent
Dark Roux is the story of a family simmering on the verge of burning to ruin. The delicate nature of this sauce depicts how Cajun culture survives Americanization along parade routes and swamps in South Louisiana. The Mouton family approaches Mardi Gras 1999 expecting traditional joy and release. But teenage struggles with sexual orientation and independence, the ambiguity of young love complicated by the racism of the South, motherhood leaving little room to love one's self (even when two non-family women are waiting to help), and blind ambition as a way to deal with the past, all plague the family. The lines tying them together become taut, threatening to fail and toss them into the hurricane of the future.
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