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Stories from Katrina

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Saturday, Aug 25, 2007

It makes sense that, two years on, we’re seeing more and more books about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. It’s time for reflection, to make sense of an event author James Lee Burke calls a “watershed in the history of political cynicism”. Burke’s own The Tin Roof Blowdown centres on an investigation into the shooting of black looters at the time of the storm. His is one of the few fictional Katrina stories coming out. Others, according to USA Today, include Patty Friedmann’s A Little Bit Ruined, about an eccentric evacuee, and Anthony Dunbar’s Tubby Meets Katrina, about a prison escapee.

Read a short interview with James Lee Burke on his new book here.

The Alabama Press-Register, over the weekend, had a great piece on the new non-fiction Katrina-inspired books. The article’s main focus is Demaree Inglese’s No Ordinary Heroes: 8 Doctors, 30 Nurses, 7,000 Prisoners and a Category 5 Hurricane, which chronicles Inglese’s efforts to assist the hurt and the suffering with only the most basic of tools at the ready.

Heroism and survival against the odds become the great theme of Hurricane Katrina literature. Another book due at the end of the year is Holding Out and Hanging On: Surviving Hurricane Katrina by photographer Thomas Neff. Neff’s pictorial essays reveal the tenacity of NO residents determined to hold fort and weather the storm. Neff’s is another story that showcases the strength of everyday people.

Further reading on Hurricane Katrina:

* Story of a Storm: A Book About Hurricane Katrina by Reona Visser (Quail Ridge Press)

* Nice Try, Katrina! Trails of a Hurricane Katrina Evacuee by Kendra Marie Harris (Infinity Publishing)

* The Children Hurricane Katrina Left Behind: Schooling Context, Professional Preparation, and Community Politics by Sharon P. Robinson and M. Christopher Brown II (Peter Lang Publishing)

* The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Douglas Brinkley (Harper Perennial)

* Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City by Jed Horne (Random House)

* The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina—The Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist by Ivor van Heerden and Mike Bryan (Penguin)

* Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Michael Eric Dyson (Basic Books)

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