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STRANGE TRUE STORIES

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"Strange True Stories of Louisiana is Cable’s compilation of seven unusual, factual accounts of life and history in the area. They include tales of two French sisters who made the dangerous trek to the unsettled lands of North Louisiana at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Focusing on New Orleans, Cable adds the story of “The ‘Haunted House’ in Royal Street” and evil socialite Madame LaLaurie, which spurs the imaginations of ghost hunters more than a century after its original writing. There is also a diary account, in its first published form, of a Union woman trapped behind the battle lines during the Civil War. At the turn of the century, people outside of New Orleans viewed the city through the eyes of journalist and author George Washington Cable. His writings portrayed a tropical European city nestled on the banks of an American river still teeming with the literary, artistic, and social developments of a late Renaissance. In his own romance with Louisiana, Cable came upon many stories written by its denizens. While Cable assisted some authors in finding places to publish their works, there were many stories he kept for himself. Much of this collection can be found in Strange True Stories of Louisiana. “They are mine by right of discovery,” writes Cable. “From various necessities of the case I am sometimes the story-teller, and sometimes, in the reader’s interest, have to abridge; but I add no fact and trim naught of value away. Here are no unconfessed ‘restorations,’ not one. In time, place, circumstance, in every essential feature, I give them as I got them—strange stories that truly happened, all partly, some wholly, in Louisiana.”

One of the greatest and most celebrated Southern writers of his day, George Washington Cable (1844-1925) helped lead the local color movement of the late 1800s with his pioneering use of dialect and his skill in the short-story form. After serving in the Civil War, he began to write for the New Orleans Picayune. Cable has been called the most important Southern artist working in the late-nineteenth century, as well as the first modern Southern writer. Julie Dupré Buckner is an award-winning artist who specializes in painting, portrait art, illustration, and design. Buckner received a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design from Louisiana Tech University and studied art in Italy. She has been honored with numerous awards including an ADDY Award, a national packaging award for Georgie’s Old Fashioned Nut Cakes, and praise for her work on advertising campaigns for Rolex USA, Mikimoto, and David Yurman. Her illustrations have been displayed at the Irving Art Center Museum in Texas and Children’s Museum in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and her portrait work is held in private collections through the United States. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Portrait Society of America, the American Society of Portrait Artists, and the Louisiana Art and Artists’ Guild. Buckner lives in Plaquemine, Louisiana, with her husband and children.