Rien Fertel



Rien Fertel writes, teaches, and lives in and about the South. His books include Imagining the Creole City, The One True Barbecue, and, most recently, Southern Rock Opera in the 33 1/3 series.






10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Chamber
Book Talk
American Lonesome: The Work of Bruce Springsteen

12:45 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room A
Book Talk
Drive-By Truckers' Southern Rock Opera

1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing


Drive-By Truckers' Southern Rock Opera

The Drive-By Truckers' Southern Rock Opera takes listeners on a road trip through the American South, with stops along mean old highways and soul-sucking swamps, iconic recording studios and doomed chartered jets, and even Heaven and Hell. Along the way, the Truckers attempt to untangle the mess that is southern history by exploring the contradictory, dualistic nature of the region.

Like twin paths intersecting and diverging before meeting again, the opera's libretto focuses on the lives of two bands: the fictional Betamax Guillotine, a stand-in for the Truckers themselves, and Southern rock gods Lynyrd Skynyrd. Rien Fertel takes us for a ride along the Truckers' winding road through the opera's Southlands, a region filled with youthful rockstar aspirations, fatal crashes, the wreckage of one band gone too soon, and the ambitions of another wrestling with the great hope and tragedy that is America.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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