André Cajun (1893-1957) is the pseudonym for Andrew Jackson Navard. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and moved to New Orleans as a riverboat captain as a young man. Unhappy in this vocation, he soon found a more suitable career as an entertainer, delighting crowds of visitors awaiting transport on the Mississippi with his historical parodies of Louisiana’s rich traditions. He published and hawked several tourist booklets while working as a lecturer on The President, a steamer that docked at the foot of Canal Street. Many of his embellished tales are now collected in Stories of New Orleans, published by Pelican with a new foreword by John T. Magill, curator/historian for The Historic New Orleans Collection.
Encountering people of all rank and standing, Navard quickly obtained an arsenal of stories and anecdotes. Particularly interested in the lurid Basin Street area—appropriately named Storyville—Cajun did not hesitate to offer his witty and poignant perspective on the area and those who frequented it. These observations are presented in Basin Street, which includes a new foreword by New Orleans journalist Roger Hahn.
In his lifetime, Navard wrote a number of Louisiana-themed titles under the name André Cajun in honor of his Cajun heritage. He died in New Orleans.
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