The true story of a resilient circle of shrimp boat captains who faced and withstood the wreckage of Katrina but now find their courage tested by a greater threat: the disappearance of their livelihood and their centuries-old bayou culture.
©2008 Yale University Press (P)2008 Yale University Press
"Vivid prose, first-hand testimony and solid, heartbreaking reportage make this disaster debrief hard to put down, and worth the attention of every U.S. citizen." (Publishers Weekly)
Having survived Katrina in the Superdome, I am extremely interested in the anything on how people fared in the face of her devastation. Almost everything you read about Katrina is based in New Orleans.
This is about St Bernard parish, a suburb of New Orleans and the bayous around it. Having visited the area pre-Katrina I had a feel for the lay of the land.
The author knows the area, the people and their culture. He explains why they stayed and how the bayou is in their DNA. Life has not changed in hundreds of years. It is all they know and they are a part of the land itself.
You not only hear tales of survival and death but you are given a broader picture of the lives of these folks. Ken goes beyond the surface pain to extract the deeper sorrow about a way of life lost.
These are a people who time has forgotten. And again they were overlooked in the face of Katrina. In the wake of her destruction no homes were spared. There was no fairy tale ending for the people of "da parish."
And that is what makes this a book worth reading. Ken realistically sums up the aftermath of the storm. He tells about the suicides, those who gave up and left and those who started over. You get a feeling of why folks made those tough decisions.
I wish the narrator had been a local resident. He butchered the names as do most people who do not live here. I had to do a double take to realize what he was talking about. At least he did not try to simulate a proper Cajun accent and for that I am grateful.
Chris Andrews should have consulted with people who live in that area how to pronounce the names of places. For instance the city Houma is NOT pronounced WHO mah. It's HOE ma. Lafitte is laFEET, NOT La FIT. And you pronounce the S in Ysclosky!I found his constant mispronunciations extremely annoying.
I lived in New Orleans from 1977 to 1986. For the first two years I ran crew boats in the Kerr-McGee production field in Breton Sound. Our base was in Hopedale, so every other week (we worked 7 days on/7 off) I drove up and down those roads and I ran boats around in those bayous. The last three years I lived on a shanty boat at the Gulf Outlet Marina on Bayou Bienvenue in Chalmette, so I have a real feeling for the area.New Orleans got all the media attention, and it's understandable. People in Detroit, Denver, and even Düsseldorf, Germany know about New Orleans, but none of them ever heard of Shell Beach of Ysclosky. I saw videos of the flooding in St. Bernard and couldn't believe my eyes. 95% of the structures in the Parish were flooded! The Gulf Outlet Marina, which sat INSIDE the levee system, the story says, was "obliterated." I could, literally, visualize the narrative as it unfolded, knowing Violet and the canal and what those houses and camps along the bayou all the way down to Hopedale were going through.Thank you for this book.
I would recommend this book if you are interested in what happened during the Hurricane Katrina. This book is about what it was like for some of the people that went through the Hurricane and what happened to them. I
Even though this book was not what I expected I still enjoyed hearing about what the people endured during the hurricane and some of what life was like before and after. I was expecting it to be more about the normal life of the people in the Bayous.
I had no idea what it was like for the people living in Louisiana that lived in through the hurricane and how it affected their lives. This book made it very interesting and enjoyable to read
I always looked forward to going on from where I left off
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