The recent flash flood in Louisville ruined a lot of books at the main downtown library. One early report from the director said 50,000 volumes were destroyed, but who knows if that's a low or high number -- governmental agencies are known to exagerate or underestimate, depending on the circumstances.
Any, one book that escaped the flood was CHILDREN OF THE LEVEE, a collection of sketches written by Lafcadio Hearn for the Cincinnati newspapers during the 1870s, published in 1957 by the University of Kentucky Press. These 12 sketches look at life in the Negro section of town by the Ohio River levee, Bucktown, during the period Hearn lived in Cincinnati before he moved on to New Orleans.
Apparently Cincinnati was the largest inland city in the nation during the 1870s, something I hadn't realized. As I'm reading through these very interesting and colorful pieces, I came across one that would, I think, appeal to some readers here. "Pariah People" is a remarkable journalistic tour de force, a noirish walking tour through Bucktown's vice dens and alleys. Bleak and dark. Fine writing that equals the best crime journalism being written today, I think -- reminds me of some pieces I've read by Nick Tosches.
Anyway, that's my head's up sharing for today.
- Duane Spurlock www.pulprack.com
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