It’s a banner year for Tulane English professors — Zachary Lazar and Jesmyn Ward. Their novels have been selected as the 2019 books to read citywide in New Orleans and Philadelphia, respectively. Vengeance by Lazar is the “One Book, One New Orleans” selection. In addition to distributing free copies of the book to people who can’t afford to buy them, the program will present a series of events to encourage people to read and engage with the book, which is a tale of crime and imprisonment, where fact and fiction are hard to tell apart. Sing, Unburied, Sing, the National Book Award–winning 2017 novel by Ward, is the featured selection for “One Book, One Philadelphia.” In that city, from Jan. 16 to March 13, 2019, Sing, Unburied, Sing will take center stage in approximately 100 discussions, performances and projects throughout Philadelphia public schools. “It’s a bold choice, a decidedly adult book, encompassing drug abuse, violence and death, the prison-industrial complex, and broken familial relationships,” said the Philadelphia Inquirer.