FINDING MAGIC IN KOLKATA

It makes a lot of sense that magical realism plays well in the backdrop of the Third World, particularly as the genre reads in the developed West. Gabriel Garcia Márquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude is hard to imagine without the sweaty ruins of Macondo. While Shome Dasgupta’s latest collection Anklet and Other Stories isn’t strictly magical realism, Dasgupta’s use...

/ June 21, 2017

FICTION: SAMOSA

The following story appears in Anklet and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction by Lafayette-based author Shome Dasgupta published in 2017. Dasgupta spoke about his work and his connection to India, his ancestral home, in an interview with Christiaan Mader.  All he wore was a piece of blue cloth around his waist; he was bald and wore no shoes or sandals,...

/ June 21, 2017

BIG OIL AND THE DEEP STORY

In 1948, Standard Oil commissioned Robert Flaherty to make Louisiana Story, about a Cajun family made rich by leasing their land to oil drillers. Famous for its long panning shots of lush bayou wilderness and frolicking swamp creatures, following exploits of a boy and his pet raccoon, the film was one of the earliest PR campaigns to reassure Southwest Louisiana...

/ June 1, 2017

NOT FAR FROM THE TREE

This all began on Pie Day last year. Most of you know Pie Day as Good Friday. In Catholic tradition, it is a day of fasting. But at Greg Guirard’s house, the one meal allowed on Good Friday comes in a hand-baked crust. Dozens of cousins and a lifetime of friends arrive at his house on the edge of the...

/ June 1, 2017

LEXINGTON TO LAFAYETTE

A confession: The years I spent as a print journalist covering government and politics acclimated me to being comfortable saying things that make some people uncomfortable. My wife thinks I even enjoy it. So here it goes: Compared with some other cities, Lafayette is just not that special. We’re good, not great. We’ve got a lot of work to do to get...

/ June 1, 2017

THE GOPSEL ACCORDING TO JANE JACOBS

Great cities don’t happen by accident. Whether the choices are as big as the Lafayette Connector or as small as a street bench, it is critical to make the right choice. In order to get the kind of city we talk about wanting, we have to first understand that great cities are complex systems of functional order; the sum of...

/ June 1, 2017

CITY COLLAGE: POLARIZING DISCOURSE

Benjamin Guidry, Polarizing Discourse, acrylic on cardboard, 2017 Within the past few months, protests and riots have flared as university students and left-leaning peers attempted to silence controversial speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter and Charles Murray. I wonder if our local community can appease rising polarization before hatred, violence and suppression claim victory in yet another American city....

/ June 1, 2017

PORTRAIT: WALTER IMAHARA

[vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1496523176027{padding-top: 20px !important;}”]Walter Imahara, at age 8, sat alone on a swing in a playground at his elementary school in New Orleans. Since his family had moved to the Crescent City in 1945 at the end of WWII, following their internment in two concentration camps for Japanese-Americans in Arkansas, Walter and his siblings faced relentless bullying. He had chosen...

/ June 1, 2017

HARD FACTS, TRUE STORIES, REAL TALK

The sky settled down into an early May gradient of twilight colors over the statue of Confederate General Alfred Mouton, his arms crossed over his white stone chest. Across the street, crammed standing-room-only inside of The Hive’s black box theatre space, more than 50 people hushed as Dr. Rick Swanson took the stage. Swanson unfurled tables and charts, photos and...

/ June 1, 2017

FRANCIS PAVY’S ONE-MAN PRESS

“It would be nice to have some oysters that big, huh?” quips Francis Pavy, the childlike blues of his eyes lusting over his own creation. The object of his desire — a plus-sized oyster etched into a 3-foot-by-4-foot slab of composite vinyl — is a custom-print block, a particularly appetizing example of Pavy’s preferred method of application for his vivacious...

/ June 1, 2017