“Literature that creates an authentic sense of place can be difficult to find. A writer who can capture the real spirit of a place is even more rare. Deborah Burst is such a writer, and her Spirits of the Bayou does justice to one of America’s most historic and hauntingly beautiful settings, South Louisiana.” C. E. Richard, author of the book Louisiana, An Illustrated History and the companion documentary Louisiana: A History, produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
Deborah Burst adds another book in her continuing series of Louisiana’s Sacred Places. Her fourth book, Spirits of the Bayou: Sanctuaries, Cemeteries and Hauntings brings to life both the historic and artistic landscapes of New Orleans and coastal towns of South Louisiana.
One by one, each chapter unlocks the doors into ancient houses of worship, probes the eerie shadows of cemeteries and delves deep inside the bayou’s haunted legends. It’s a compelling gallery, a rarity in the literary world with both the magic of her words and the emotional flavor of her photographs.
Fans have called it Burst’s most compelling piece of work with more than 256 pages and 125 photos. The trail begins in New Orleans, then north across Lake Pontchartrain to the hidden gems of St. Tammany Parish. Readers then travel along the back roads and bayous of Houma, Raceland, Franklin and Morgan City.
The last chapters visit the wicked beauty of Louisiana’s swamps and bayous. Meet Rougarou, the Cajun werewolf, Jean Lafitte, a nineteenth century pirate turned patriot, and the illusive swamp monster in the Honey Island Swamp. Closing the book, discover the spiritual world of trees, butterflies and dragonflies.
For the connoisseur, the book deserves a place on the coffee table; for the adventurer, it belongs neatly tucked in a backpack. It’s a must-read for locals and a rare treat for those beyond the state’s borders.