The State Library of Louisiana through its Louisiana Center for the Book is pleased to announce that New Orleans native Christina Vella has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Louisiana Writer Award, an honor bestowed annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana’s literary and intellectual life.
Celebrated both as historian and biographer, Christina Vella is the author of Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of the Baroness de Pontalba;The Hitler Kiss written with Radomir Luza;Indecent Secrets: The Infamous Murri Murder Affair; George Washington Carver: A Life;and Ataturk and the Unveiling of Turkey,in publication.
Vella is currently at work on a novel with an imaginary protagonist but two actual historical figures as featured characters– Enrico Caruso and Constanin Brancusi – rendered with biographical accuracy, aside from their bogus relationship with the heroine.
Susan Larson, host of WWNO’s “The Reading Life,” says “Intimate Enemies is one of those books that will be around forever as part of the Louisiana and New Orleans canon, and her Carver biography is fantastic. Christina is a writer who is generous and smart, and she is a great example a scholar with an independent writing career.”
Vella’s presentation on her Carver biography at the 2015 Louisiana Book Festival was one of those selected for national broadcast by C-SPAN’s Book TV.
In addition to her full-length works, Vella has written a number of book chapters, including“The Country for Men with Nerve” in Degas and New Orleans; “New Orleans at the Time of the Battle,” in The Battle of New Orleans Reconsidered; “Dorothy Dix” and “The Baroness Pontalba,” in Louisiana Women: Their Lives and Times; and“El Corazon de España,” in Permanencia Cultural de España en Nueva Orleans. She has also contributed several articles to the online encyclopediaLouisiana History.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesserand State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will present Vella with the 17th Louisiana Writer Award on Saturday, Oct. 29, in an opening ceremony of the 2016 Louisiana Book Festival. Vella will also discuss her work and career with fellow historian and professor Curtis Manning, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Louisiana Institute for Higher Education, at the festival.
Dr. Vella has for many years taught at Tulane University, most recently in the Master of Liberal Arts program.
Join us at the Louisiana Book Festival as we recognize our 2016 Louisiana Writer Award recipient, Christina Vella, and celebrate Louisiana’s rich literary heritage and its renowned and emerging authors. For more information about the festival and Vella, visit LouisianaBookFestival.org.
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State Library of Louisiana
Buddy Boe/Jessica Ragusa
Office of the Lieutenant Governor