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Hard Side of the Big Easy: Crime Noir and Katrina with Tom Zigal and Rod Davis

Join us for an evening with noir writers Tom Zigal and Rod Davis. They will be sharing work from their recent New Orleans-based novels: Rod Davis will read from South, America and Tom Zigal will read from Many Rivers to Cross.

Tom Zigal was born in Galveston, Texas, in 1948 and grew up in nearby Texas City. He attended high school in Louisiana and received degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and Stanford University. He has been publishing short stories, reviews, and essays for forty years, and he is the author of three popular crime novels featuring Kurt Muller as the sheriff of Aspen, Colorado. He has completed two novels of a trilogy-in-progress set in New Orleans—The White League and Many Rivers to Cross, which won the 2014 Jesse Jones Award for Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. Zigal lives in Austin with his wife and stepchildren.

Rod Davis was the recipient of the fiction award in the 2005 PEN Southwest Book Awards for Corina’s Way. Davis is also the author of American Voudou: Journey into a Hidden World, a study of West African religion in the United States. A six-part series on the Texas-Mexico border, “A Rio Runs Through It,” appears in Best American Travel Writing 2002, and his PEN/Texas-award-winning essay, “The Fate of the Texas Writer,” is included in Fifty Years of the Texas Observer. His most recent novel, South, America, has been described as “a triumph of Southern noir” and compared to the works of James M. Cain and Mickey Spillane. Davis is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, PEN Center USA, and the National Book Critics Circle. National professional honors have included a fellowship at the Yaddo Colony, a Lowell Thomas Award (Bronze) for personal commentary on post-Katrina New Orleans, and Gold and Silver Awards for feature writing from the City/Regional Magazine Association (CRMA). He has taught writing at the University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University in Dallas.