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James Lee Burke

Anyone who is familiar with James Lee Burke and his fictional character, detective Dave Robicheaux, knows of New Iberia and our fascinating blend of heritage, hospitality and history. Burke spent his summers in New Iberia with relatives, playing and fishing in the many water holes that populate the area. As an adult, he returned and lived in New Iberia on the Bayou Teche for a number of years with his wife, Pearl. His family's hometown is clearly very dear to him, as evidenced by the prominent part that his fictionalized version of New Iberia plays in each of his novels.

Burke says his favorite place in New Iberia is Main Street, where his grandfather once lived. The Main Street that Burke describes as the most beautiful in the country is just part of the attraction of New Iberia, a city which has "southern manners and at the same time is a first-name kind of place." Dave Robicheaux’s descriptions of the area give Burke’s readers a small taste of what New Iberia is like.

"I look down from the window at the brick paved street in the morning’s blue light, the colonnades over the sidewalks, a black man pushing a wooden cart laden with strawberries from under the overhang of a dark green oak tree. The scene looks like a postcard mailed from the nineteenth century."

—A Stained White Radiance, James Lee Burke

Burke, who lives in Missoula, Montana, is one of only two authors to have won two Edgar Awards. His novel The Lost Get Back Boogie was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Visit Books Along the Teche on Main Street to inquire about Burke’s whereabouts and purchase autographed copies of his books, including signed first editions.

And now, it's even easier to tour Iberia Parish like Dave Robicheaux! Visit during the Books Along The Teche Literary Festival: Celebrating New Iberia, Dave Robicheaux's Hometown and see the locations James Lee Burke wrote about, all while enjoying activities and events centered around Iberia Parish's favorite detective.