These are some of the best fiction books about New Orleans. They show the city’s spirit, culture, and history in a way that makes it unique and interesting.
The setting of this book has fascinated me since I was a child, and it has only grown more interesting to me as an adult. So many great authors have connections to New Orleans, which makes their work rich and complex. Many of these books are classic New Orleans literature or books that have won awards for being set in New Orleans.
Then, my husband went to Tulane University, where he learned a lot about the South. He still has a lot of Southern things in his life today.
Best Fiction Books About New Orleans
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
For people who like classics and books about women, this is a good place to start.
The Awakening is a classic American book about people. It was written in 1899 and is on the Rory Gilmore book list. End of the Nineteenth Century: It’s set in New Orleans and on Louisiana’s Southern Louisiana coast at the end of the 19th century. The main character, Edna Pontellier, has to figure out how to fit her unconventional ideas about femininity, love, and motherhood into the social norms of the South.
It’s a powerful early work on feminism, which I think would have been very shocking at the time because it combines social commentary with psychological depth. It reminded me of so many other books, like Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, The Push, and A Room with a View.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The book is for people who like classics, humor, and books that aren’t the same as other books.
The winner of the Pulitzer Prize is
A Confederacy of Dunces is a well-known American book that is set in New Orleans and has a sense of humor that everyone can enjoy. He is called “Don Quixote of the French Quarter,” but Ignatius J. Reilly is a fat “Don Quixote of the French Quarter.” His life is filled with unique characters and realistic dialogue set in the lower depths of New Orleans, where he has funny adventures and meets interesting people in funny situations.
Pirate Alley, which is now the home of Faulkner House Books in New Orleans, was also mentioned in the book that was written.
Fact: A Confederacy of Dunces was published a few years after Toole’s death, thanks to his mother’s strong desire to get it out there. (Source)
A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
Fans of Oprah’s Book Club should read Just Mercy, The Sun Does Shine, and Black Lives Matter.
The National Book Critics Circle Award winner.
One of Oprah’s book clubs is called “A Lesson Before Dying,” and it’s about a young man who visits a young black man on death row in New Orleans in the 1940s. The young man doesn’t do anything wrong. As a group, these two men come to understand that resisting is brave.
All this Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg
For fans of Big Little Lies and Succession, this is the book for you!
It’s a good story about a bad person. All This Could Be Yours: As her father, a power-hungry real estate developer who was also a strong-minded lawyer, was dying, Alex Tuchman set out to find out the truth about him. She goes to New Orleans to be with her family and ask her mother about her past, which has been a rough time.
All of a sudden, Alex’s brother is in Los Angeles and working hard on his movie career. His wife is having a nervous breakdown all over New Orleans. It’s family dysfunction at its worst, as the family has to figure out how to move forward. This is what it’s like to be caught in the web of a bad person.
Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
As a gift for people who like vampires!
From the #1 New York Times bestseller Anne Rice comes the book that started it all. Many of her books are set in New Orleans, and this one is the first.
A New Orleans book called Interview with the Vampire tells the dark secrets of a vampire who lived for 200 years. As a child, Louis owned a plantation near New Orleans. When he asked for someone to be with him, a person turned him into a vampire after he said that he wanted to be with him. During this unforgettable book, which is set in New Orleans, the author talks about immortality and cannibalism in ways that are both shocking and amazing, as well. As long as you don’t give up too much (because there is a lot that happens), the book is about danger, love and death.
November Road by Lou Berney
People who like to read about mysteries and thrillers will like this book Entertainer Weekly, Newsweek, AARP, and the Washington Post all named it one of the best books of the year. The Dallas Morning News and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel also named it one of the best books of the year. When people say they want to read a good book, the kind you can’t put down, this is what they mean. Exceptional. In the book November Road, which is set in New Orleans, a street lieutenant for a New Orleans mob boss has no money. He knows too much about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination to keep it to himself.
Almost everyone who had a connection to the mob boss has been killed in the first few hours after the assassination. This street lieutenant thinks that he’s next because he was in Dallas two weeks ago to meet the boss. It turns out that an old friend will help him “disappear.” He heads to Las Vegas to see him. While fleeing an unhappy life in Oklahoma, he comes across a pretty woman and her two young daughters on the side of the road. He sees an easy way for him to hide from the hitmen who are following him. As an insurance man, he pretends to help her get to California if she comes with him to Vegas, so he can help her get there. Neither of them should fall in love. Somebody might die. It could be dangerous. These are vivid crime novels that show a cat-and-mouse game in the 1960s. There is hope for second chances in this story. My favorite scene was in the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Montelione, one of my favorite places in New Orleans!
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
Modern literature and books about Black Lives Matter are good for people who like those kinds of things. It was named a winner of the National Book Awards.
New Orleans literature that talks about Hurricane Katrina is called Salvage the Bones. Days before it, Esch’s father, who hasn’t been home for a long time because of alcoholism, is worried about his motherless kids. Esch is 14 and pregnant. Her three brothers are stocking food and preparing for the future, and Esch’s mom is taking care of her.
They make sacrifices and protect and care for each other even though the hurricane is coming. Take a look at the harsh realities of poverty in this book about New Orleans. It’s set against a devastating storm.
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
For theater lovers:
The play that won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Circle Award was called “The Play.”
A Streetcar Named Desire is one of the best plays on the Rory Gilmore book list. It’s set in New Orleans, where it’s very hot. It’s about how Blanche DuBois, who is promiscuous, is pushed over the edge by her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, who is both sexy and mean. Rich and evocative language is used in this American masterpiece to show how sensitive characters and dramatic violence are explored in depth. And the last time I went to New Orleans, I found a piece of art called A Streetcar Named Desire in the French Quarter.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
People who like the books in Good Morning America’s book club will like this list. Books about modern literature and books about Black Lives Matter will be especially interesting. The Vanishing Half is a Good Morning America book club pick that I knew would be the best book of 2020 the first time I read it. I knew it would be the best from the start. There are two light-skinned Black identical twin sisters who were raised in a light-skinned Black township in Louisiana.
During their teenage years, they run away to New Orleans, where they stay. It was a secret that one of Stella’s sisters left and married someone white. This meant that Stella was going to start over as a white person. Desiree, the other twin sister, has a dark-skinned husband and a dark-skinned daughter, both of whom marry black men. In this fiction book set in New Orleans, the book follows the twins and their family through several decades, from the 1950s to the 1990s, as they live separate but, often, overlapping lives. The writing is rich and the character choices are important. A true work of art, it deals with race, identity, exposure, education, environment, and acting in a way that will make you want to find out what comes next. My favorite thing about The Vanishing Half was that I wrote a whole guide to it.