Famed Louisiana Novelist Ernest J. Gaines, author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and other novels, passed away this week at his home in Oscar, Louisiana. He was 86 years old.

When Americans are taught the story of school desegregation, they learn about the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. The Board of Education. But much of the work of desegregation happened outside the courtroom. Black children, some as young as six, put their bodies on the line every time they entered a white school, and nearly all of them were girls.

Sociologist Arlie Hochschild discusses her book "Strangers in Their Own Land." Hochschild goes from her hometown of Berkeley, a liberal oasis, to Louisiana bayou country, a stronghold of the conservative right.

NPR music critic Ann Powers talks about her book, "Good Booty." She explores how popular music became America's primary erotic art form, starting in 19th Century New Orleans.

Professor Mak Lilla of Columbia University talks about his book, "The Once and Future Liberal." Lilla's op-ed piece in the New York Times last year, "The End of Identity Liberalism," was the most read op-ed essay of 2016, with 1.6 million views.

Today we speak with award-winning author and attorney Michael Rubin of Baton Rouge about his latest book, "Cashed Out."


New Orleans author Ladee Hubbard talks about her debut novel "The Talented Ribkins." Hubbard has received positive reviews, including this endorsement from writer Toni Morrison: "For sheer reading pleasure Ladee Hubbard's original and wildly inventive novel is in a class by itself."


Actor Carl Palmer is an LSU graduate. He talks about the impact Sam Shepard had on his life and career. Shepard, the actor and Pulitzer Prize winning writer, died this week at age 73.

Writer Don Brown tells the story of Captain Jerry Yellin, now 93 years old, in his book, "The Last Fighter Pilot." Yellin flew a mission over Japan after World War II was over, but it was too late to inform Yellin that Japan had surrendered.

William O'Connor, senior writer for the Daily Beast, talks about the enduring legacy of Huey Long on the landscape of Baton Rouge. O'Connor's feature about the Old Governor's Mansion and its remarkable past is "Strippers, Insane Asylums, Assassination and Termites: Inside the Insane History of the World's Greatest White House Replica."