It’s the story of transitioning, cotton and architecture from the point of view of New Orleans Jewish boy in the mid-20th century who now lives in Manhattan and East Hampton.
Peter M. Wolf’s memoir, “My New Orleans, Gone Away: A Memoir of Loss and Renewal” details a man’s journey from New Orleans to New England and his decision to change himself to follow his passions. Having come from five prior generations of powerful cotton-manufacturers, Wolf decided to leave his hometown and pursue a career of art and architecture. His book, the sixth in arsenal but the first about himself, follows his life in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.
“I learned how my own passion for art and architecture evolved slowly without really realizing it was happening, how living in New Orleans and having a lot of generations there have seeped into me,” he said.
Wolf first realized that he wanted to pursue a career of art and architecture when he was taking a history of architecture elective for kicks as an undergraduate at Yale University. (A time in which he befriended journalist and novelist Calvin Trillin, who wrote the forward for his novel.)
“Figure out what’s really at the basis of your delight and your joy and try to work your life and your relationships around that,” he said, noting that his biggest risk was packing his Volkswagen with his typewriter and tennis racket and leaving his house on Burgundy Street for the northeast.
Wolf has taught as an adjunct professor at the School of Architecture at Cooper Union and participated as visiting artist/scholar at The American Academy in Rome. He began writing in 1974 about urban planning and preservation. Wolf started his latest book of a changing New Orleans when he started compiling memories from his childhood that he felt would appeal to others. A book reviewer from The New York Times read some of his memories and told him that Wolf had inadvertently writing a book.
He is the founder of The Thomas Moran Trust and serves as a trustee on the Guild Hall board.
Wolf will be at The Hampton Library (2478 Main Street, Bridgehampton) at 5 p.m. on Friday, July 26th, at Canio’s Books (290 Main Street, Sag Harbor) at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 27th, Bookhampton (41 Main Street, East Hampton) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 28th, and Authors Night (www.authorsnight.org) on Saturday, August 10.
For more information about Peter M. Wolf, visit him online at www.petermwolf.com.