Degas in New Orleans
A book of narrative non-fiction

Read the Cultural Services of the French Embasy in the US interview with Rosary O'Neill about "Degas in New Orleans" by Meagen Moreland-Taliancich

"Playwright Rosary O'Neill, is proud to be a seventh generation, bilingual, New Orleanian. Though she now lives and works in New York City, she maintains a soft-spot for people who were associated with Louisiana, such as the famous voodoo witch Marie Laveau. At present, Rosary is working on a project involving the famed French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas, who visited New Orleans in 1872.

Recently, Rosary O’Neill took the time to speak to the Consulate General of France in Louisiana about her experiences working on “Degas in New Orleans” and being a writer in general."


This book of historical fiction is based on a true story of the celebrated painter Edgar Degasí illustrious visit to New Orleans in 1872. The book of narrative fiction takes place in the home of the Degas family at 2306 Esplanade Avenue , a two-story house in which 18 members of the Degas family live and eke out a mediocre bankrupt existence after the Civil War. Edgar Degas arrives to salvage his brotherís cotton business and to reclaim his family life in the maternal city of his mother. What he confronts is the scandal of what has happened to his three cousins (Didi, Mathilde, and Estelle), the continued racism that has blemished his family (ostracizing his black cousin Norbert), the bankruptcy of his uncle (Michel Musson), the bigamous affair of his brother with his next-door neighbor (America) in his own house, and the rekindling of a passionate illicit affair. The story exposes the scandalous encounter between Edgar Degas and his brother, a scandal that kept them from speaking for ten years and led Degas to return to Paris with a new direction in his work, soon after known as Impressionism.

Portrait of Estelle Musson Degas