IN THE CITY OF FALLING STARS

University of West Alabama Press, 2016

Dead birds are falling out of the sky and Maurice Delahoussaye suspects the air in New Orleans may be unsafe. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries claims the birds were poisoned, while meteorologists suggest they were killed by a sudden change in temperature. There’s even talk of terrorism, Bird Flu, West Nile Virus, or high levels of mold spores left over from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When Maurice expresses his fear, his family tries to assure him. Gradually, though, he becomes increasingly fearful that the government is hiding an ominous secret, and when he begins having strange religious premonitions suggesting that his wife is pregnant with Jesus Christ, he becomes convinced that the dead birds are a sign from God.

 
DIRTY LITTLE ANGELS

University of West Alabama Press, 2009

 

Set in the slums of New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses's lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses's twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape.

HAUNTED BONES

Louisiana Literature Press, 2006

 

Haunted Bones is indeed haunted--by characters such as Botticelli's Venus--and by images of bones "rattling like empty bottles of beer." The lucky reader who finds this collection will be glad to carry the ghosts of these poems into the tangerine-hued future. --Beth Ann Fennelly

 

In Haunted Bones, Chris Tusa probes uncharted waters with courage, with energy, stength and clarity of vision. Tusa's poems cannot be folded and sailed out into the night because, like a boomerang in the shape of "Satan's Hipbone," they return and linger in the recesses of the mind. --Vivian Shipley, Connecticut Review