shares her bayou

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Michigan State University Press , 260 pp., 6.00" x 9.00", Paper

ISBN10: 1-61186-032-6

ISBN13: 978-1-61186-032-0

Read Excerpts

In Oxford American

Dream State

In Blackbird

Season of Miracles

“My Bayou: New Orleans Through the Eyes of a Lover” is a tale of dogs and pelicans, of muggings and weddings, of hurricanes and homecomings, of faith and liberation. At one point in her story, Adler quotes the artist Walter Anderson: “Everything I see is strange and new.” Adler’s memoir is suffused with such strangeness and newness. As Walden Pond has Thoreau and rural Wisconsin has Aldo Leopold, New Orleans’ Bayou Saint John now has Constance Adler, who has given us a personal geography of the highest order. —Michael Tisserand, author of The Kingdom of Zydeco and Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White

Funny, thoughtful, and moving—and sometimes all three at once—as Adler recounts her discovery of the city and the life she forged there, before Katrina and after. Above all, this is the work of a writer: virtually every sentence has an interesting idea or turn of phrase, and emanates from a voice you want to keep listening to. —Ben Yagoda, author of Memoir: A History and About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made

Constance Adler plucks prophetic beauty from the rain clouds of the Bayou Saint John, rituals of vodou, and the deep layers of love found in the people around New Orleans. She is a masterful writer. —Jacqueline Sheehan, New York Times bestselling author of Lost & Found and Now & Then

New Orleans is the perfect place to fall in or out of love and that is a major part of the story here. The author cannot spare anyone close to her—including herself—the risk of pain, but for those who can travel along with her, she also reveals the quirky, funky joys below, beside, and within that slow moving bayou of life that tears New Orleans from river to lake, wild and free, body and soul. —Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in the Lotus and The History of Last Night's Dream

Constance Adler's lively bayou is blocks from my own home, but before this jewel of a memoir, I knew these waters glancingly, not intimately. How lucky New Orleans is that she arrived from New Jersey, fell in love with more than a man, and stayed. Read this sensuous book and risk the urge to pack your bags and be her neighbor. —Pia Z. Ehrhardt, author of Famous Fathers & Other Stories



  • Diana Pinckley’s review in the Times-Picayune.

  • Susan Settlemyre Williams loves My Bayou.

  • The Austinist liked it too!

  • My New Orleans ran this lovely story.

  • And then the front porch deserves its own review as well.

Tired of reading?

  • Listen to Susan Larson’s delightful interview on WWNO’s The Reading Life.

  • Also this radio interview with Judith Meriwether at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The good part starts right after the weather report.

  • Take a look at a short (five-minute) film adaptation of My Bayou.

Adapted from Constance Adler's My Bayou:New Orleans Through The Eyes Of A Lover Published by Michigan State University Press ©2012 Constance Adler Directed by Jackson Hill ©2012 Jackson Hill Photography LLC All Rights Reserved. Starring Rosemary Monroe & Will Crocker. Music by Jeff Louviere.