New Books Network

John Shelton Reed, William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of sociology (emeritus) at the University of North Carolina, has been observing the South for decades....

John Shelton Reed, William Rand Kenan Jr. Professor of sociology (emeritus) at the University of North Carolina, has been observing the South for decades. This week he and Al Zambone talk about New Orleans in the 1920s, the subject of his book Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s (LSU Press, 2012).

In the years following World War I, the New Orleans French Quarter attracted artists and writers with its low rents, faded charm, and colorful street life. By the 1920s Jackson Square had become the center of a vibrant if short-lived bohemia. A young William Faulkner and his roommate William Spratling, an artist who taught at Tulane University, resided among the “artful and crafty ones of the French Quarter.” In Dixie Bohemia John Shelton Reed introduces Faulkner’s circle of friends — ranging from the distinguished Sherwood Anderson to a gender-bending Mardi Gras costume designer — and brings to life the people and places of New Orleans in the Jazz Age.


Al Zambone is a historian and the host of the podcast Historically Thinking. You can subscribe to Historically Thinking on Apple Podcasts.