Readings / Signings / Media:

Previous events (most recent first):

•  August 29, 2015 : While in New Orleans on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Mark announces publication of new book of nonfiction, What Fresh Hell? The Best of Levees Not War: Blogging on Post-Katrina New Orleans and America, 2005–2015, from his blog Levees Not War, founded after Katrina in 2005. More info here.

•  June 28, July 2 : The Anthology of Louisiana Literature’s editors talk with Mark about Elysian Fields and his blog Levees Not War (available on iTunes). Interview part 1 starts at about 4:45; talk about Elysian Fields begins about 17:00 (it’s a relaxed chat). Click here for part 2 (mostly about Levees Not War). • The Louisiana Anthology podcasts, produced by professors Bruce R. Magee and Stephen Payne of Louisiana Tech, focus on the state’s history and culture.

•  Elysian Fields named one of 14 Best Indie General Fiction titles for 2013 (Kirkus Reviews). 

•  Elysian Fields named to Kirkus ReviewsBest of 2013.

•  Sat., Nov. 2 : From 2:00 to 2:30, Mark reads from Elysian Fields at the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge in the Welcome Center’s Glass Room (map here). Book signing from 2:45 to 3:30. The Louisiana Book Festival drew 22,000 visitors in 2012, and in 2013 set a record of 29,000. Coincidence? You decide. • Mark’s La. Book Festival author page including Q&A about Elysian Fields. • Photos from the reading and signing at Tumblr and Facebook.

•  Fri., Oct. 25, 9:30 a.m. (CST) : WRKF public radio’s The Jim Engster Show talks with Mark live on air about Elysian Fields and his upcoming appearance on Nov. 2 at the Louisiana Book Festival. (Click here and go to 24:00 minutes in.) Podcast available through NPR or iTunes.

•  Oct. 5 : Reading & discussion of Elysian Fields at Howland Public Library, Beacon, NY, Sat. 10/5, 1:00–2:00. 313 Main St., (845) 831-1134.

•  Sept. 13 : Mark will be reading & discussing Elysian Fields at the Walker Percy Center for Writing & Publishing at Loyola University, New Orleans, at 1:30 in the cozy Living Room in Loyola’s Monroe Library. (Click here for a map). Free and open to the public, and refreshments—including Melba toasts—will be served, etc. Hope to see you there!

•  April 5–7Elysian Fields Weekend in New Orleans.

•  Friday, April 5: Book launch party at Mimi’s in Marigny (adjacent to the French Quarter), 2601 Royal Street (at Franklin), 6:00–8:00. Brief ‘teaser’ reading + much celebration. Bring friends. Books available for sale (only $14.95).

•  Sunday, April 7 at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania Street (at Washington). Mark LaFlaur will read from Elysian Fields and sign copies (2:00–4:00 p.m.). All are welcome.

•  Follow Mark LaFlaur on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.



“A wholly involving story with Faulknerian characters in a fully realized setting. [A] tale of brotherly love and menace. . . . LaFlaur’s descriptive talent shines. Fertile imagery drips like Spanish moss: the old buildings collapsing, ‘as though the humidity-sodden bricks were returning to mud,’ while ‘cloud stacks glowed like the battlements of heaven.’ [Main character] Simpson’s mental landscape is equally vivid, drawn with such empathy and depth that readers will forgive his perpetual indecision and may even root for him to carry out the removal of his near-deranged brother.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


“Life in the Weems family of 1999 New Orleans is anything but Elysian in this engrossing Southern Gothic snapshot. As Simpson ponders whether to kill his brother Bartholomew, he reflects upon their upbringing with mother Melba. At age 36, Simpson works in a copy shop, but fantasizes of escaping to San Francisco and being a famous poet. The obstacle is Bartholomew—as a second grader, he spent a year in a psychiatric ward—who is presented vividly as possibly autistic and ‘laced with idiot savantism.’ LaFlaur deftly alternates between character perspectives, delving into perceptions and motivations. . . . Simpson’s perception of haunted New Orleans hammers home LaFlaur’s implication that life consists mostly of dealing with your ghosts. . . . Readers will find the author’s portrayal of New Orleans convincing and his characters fascinating and fully developed.

Publishers Weekly (starred review), February 18, 2013


A stunning debut . . . A look at the interplay of the figures in this working-class clan on Invalides Street has shades of Tennessee Williams, Faulkner and John Kennedy Toole impressed in its pages, yet [Elysian Fields] transcends those influences to become an original vision all its own. . . . LaFlaur gently and expertly pulls readers along with his characters, never flinching in the face of their foibles, giving us reasons to care what happens to them . . .”

Antigravity magazine (Your New Orleans Alternative to Culture), March 2013


“[A] wonderful debut novel, a southern gothic that is at times comedic, at times heartbreaking . . . LaFlaur certainly pays his respects to Faulkner, and echoes of Flannery O’Connor can be heard on almost every page . . . [Elysian Fields] will leave readers looking forward to LaFlaur’s next offering.”

Self-Publishing Review, April 2013