I wrote The Floating World during a decade-long fit of intense homesickness following Hurricane Katrina. (After evacuating New Orleans with my family, I found my way to a sofa in Manhattan. Three months later, I met my future husband and found that I was stuck.) In some ways, writing the novel was a way of teleporting myself home—with the Boisdorés, I got to return to the city, haul away its fallen trees, bury its bodies, dance ’til dawn on the tile floors of Frenchman Street. While I wrote, I listened to New Orleans—the funk, blues, jazz, hip-hop, and Indian chants that are the many cadences of the city, suffusing the novel with the sound of mournful horns and tambourines. I think it’s probably a good thing that bounce had not yet come into vogue in 2005; if it was as big then as it is now, I have no idea what would have become of my prose.

David Gutowski, a.k.a. Largehearted Boy, asked me to share my playlist with you. You can find it here, complete with liner-notes, on his blog, Largehearted Boy.