NEW ORLEANS – The Garden District Book Shop is honored to host the national release of renowned local author Louis Edwards’ latest book, “Ramadan Ramsey: A Novel” on Aug. 10. After a twenty-year absence from the literary scene, Guggenheim Fellowship and Whiting Award-winning novelist Edwards returns with an all at once tender, heartbreaking and triumphant story that uncovers the complexity of the modern family, and of finding home not in a certain city or place, but in the people you call family.
“Ramadan Ramsey: A Novel” is the epic tale of a New Orleans boy whose very creation is so filled with tension that it bedevils his destiny before he is even born. Spanning from the Deep South to the Middle East, Ramadan Ramsey bridges multiple countries and cultures, entwining two families who struggle to love and survive in the face of war, natural disasters, and their equally tumultuous, private mistakes and yearnings.
The story begins in 1999 with the moving (and funny) teenage love story of Alicia Ramsey, a native New Orleans African American young woman, and Mustafa Totah, a Syrian immigrant who works in her neighborhood at his uncle’s convenience store. Through a series of familial betrayals, Mustafa returns to Syria unaware that Alicia is carrying his child.
When the baby is born, Alicia names their son Ramadan and raises him with the help of her mother, Mama Joon. However, tragedy strikes when the epochal hurricane of 2005 barrels into New Orleans, shattering both the Ramsey and Totah families. Years later, when Ramadan turns twelve, he sets off to find Mustafa. It is an odyssey filled with breathtaking and brilliant adventures that takes Ramadan from the familiar world of New Orleans to Istanbul, and finally Aleppo, Syria, where he hopes to unite with the father he has never known.
The event will begin at 6:00 PM with a welcome reception followed by a moderated discussion between author Louis Edwards and The Garden District Book Shop co-owner Christopher Tidmore. The discussion will be followed by a short reading, Q&A and book signing.
Individual tickets are available for $33 and include a copy of the book and welcome reception snacks and beverages. Couples tickets are also available for $43 and include entry for two, one copy of the book and welcome reception snacks and beverages. Tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite.
All state-mandated COVID safety protocols will be in place.
For more information on The Garden District Book Shop, please visit www.gardendistrictbookshop.com.