After twenty years as a carpenter and high school English teacher, Barb Johnson turned to writing full-time. Her first short story collection, More of This World or Maybe Another, stars Delia, Luis, Pudge and Dooley, four denizens of New Orleans' tougher neighborhoods who are related either by blood or coincidence. Johnson's cast endures violent situations, personal loss and boredom, reflecting the author's own experiences living in pre- and post-Katrina New Orleans. But it's not all grim — Johnson, a self-described "middle-aged, lesbian, ex-nun carpenter" has a deadpan sense of humor that crops up in the stories at odd moments. Johnson reads from and discusses her book at 7 p.m. at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). Admission is free.
Thu., Nov. 5, 2009