Thursday, Nov 1, 7-8:30 PM

Author Event! Tyler Bridges and Robert Fieseler


Tyler Bridges, author of an updated book titled The Rise and Fall of David Duke, and Robert W. Fieseler, author of Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation, will discuss them at 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. This event is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, an annual five-day literary festival that occurs in the city of New Orleans each spring. The festival is dedicated to the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Tennessee Williams. Every year, it features several events related to the long career of Williams, as well as writing workshops, panel discussions, literary readings, stage performances, a book fair, music, writing contests, and other events. The event is free of charge and is open to the public. There is no registration. Tyler Bridges, The Rise and Fall of David Duke According to Bridges, David Duke's rise provoked profound and disturbing questions: How could he have traveled so far? Had he changed? Had America changed? Was he the same demagogue with a new haircut and a natty suit, as his opponents maintained? Or had he matured into a credible spokesman for the conservative white majority, as he claimed? What does his reemergence in 2016 tell us about race relations in the United States today? About the level of our political discourse? About how easily a slick politician can manipulate the media? About white frustration? About Donald Trump? And, ultimately, why did David Duke fall? Tyler Bridges is a free-lance journalist who splits his time between New Orleans and Lima, Peru, where his wife and daughter live. Over a 30-year career as a journalist, he has written for The Times-Picayune, The Miami Herald and The Lens, a nonprofit, investigative news site based in New Orleans. He has won numerous awards throughout his career, highlighted by being a member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams at the Herald. He also was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University for the 2011-12 academic year and in 2010 won the Maria Moors Cabot Prize, awarded by Columbia University, the highest honor given for coverage of Latin America. Bridges is the author of multiple books: Long Shot; The Rise of David Duke; and Bad Bet on the Bayou: The Rise of Gambling in Louisiana and the Fall of Governor Edwin Edwards. Robert W. Fieseler, Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation Robert W. Fieseler chronicles the tragic event that claimed the lives of 31 men and one woman on June 24, 1973, at a New Orleans bar, the largest mass murder of gays in the United States until 2016. Relying on access to survivors and archives, Fieseler creates a portrait of a closeted, blue collar gay world that flourished before an arsonist ignited an inferno that destroyed an entire community. The aftermath was no less traumatic�families ashamed to claim loved ones, the Catholic Church refusing proper burial rights, the city impervious to the survivors� needs�revealing a world of toxic prejudice that thrived well past Stonewall. The impassioned activism that followed proved essential to the emergence of a fledgling gay movement. Robert W. Fieseler is a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship and the Lynton Fellowship in Book Writing. A writer for The Big Roundtable, Narratively, and elsewhere, he now lives in The Bywater. For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at 504-889-8143 or