Louis Maistros is a novelist/photographer/songwriter/playwright who lives in the 8th Ward neighborhood of New Orleans with a one-eyed cat named Millie. His novel, The Sound of Building Coffins, is a local cult classic that has recently been reissued in an expanded version by Crescent City Books. He is currently at work on a follow-up novel called Holy Meaux and a stage musical called August Valentine.
2:15 p.m. to 3 p.m.
State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 6
The Sound of Building Coffins
Maistros will be discussing the evolution of The Sound of Building Coffins that led to its current incarnation, will perform songs written during the creation of the book (which are also a part of a stage musical in progress), and will do a live, in-person interview with long-dead jazz legend Buddy Bolden (as performed by New Orleans actor Donald Lewis) in a scene pulled from the novel.
3:15 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
The Sound of Building Coffins
"Louis Maistros has written a lyrical, complex, and brave novel that takes enormous risks and pulls them all off. He is a writer to watch and keep reading, a writer to cherish." -- Peter Straub
It is 1891 in New Orleans, and young Typhus Morningstar cycles under the light of the half-moon to fulfill his calling, re-birthing aborted foetuses in the fecund waters of the Mississippi River. He cannot know that nearby, events are unfolding that will change his life forever - events that were set in motion by a Vodou curse gone wrong, forty years before he was born. In the humble home of Sicilian immigrants, a one-year-old boy has been possessed by a demon. His father dead, lynched by a mob, his distraught mother at her wits' end, this baby who yesterday could only crawl and gurgle is now walking, dancing, and talking - in a voice impossibly deep. The doctor has fled, and several men of the cloth have come and gone, including Typhus' father, warned off directly by the clear voice of his Savoir. A newspaper man, shamed by the part he played in inciting the lynch mob that cost this boy his father, appalled by what he sees, goes in search of help. Seven will be persuaded, will try to help...and all seven will be profoundly affected by what takes place in that one-room house that dark night. Not all will leave alive, and all will be irrevocably changed by this demonic struggle, and by the sound of the first notes blown of a new musical form: jazz.
"Maistros succeeds by populating the novel with hoodoo queens, jazzbos, tricksters, rounders, and various folks with one foot in reality and the other in the spirit world. A sprawling, complex, and ultimately absorbing work." — John Lewis, Baltimore Magazine
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