This post comes from Jan, our second floor inventory manager and a Louisiana native.
For me, it’s hard to imagine that it’s been ten years since Hurricane Katrina battered the shores of Louisiana and nearby states. My hometown is in southern Louisiana; all my family and oldest friends still live there. Although I now reside in dryest, land-lockiest Austin, Texas, I can still recall the anxiety and uncertainty I felt for my loved ones when Hurricane Katrina made landfall. I can still call up those emotions quite easily. Memories of not being able to reach my parents, brother, and grandparents by phone. Even when I could reach them, I wasn’t able to speak to my dad for nearly a six weeks because he was doing 60-80 hour a week unpaid work for FEMA. Of course, it was still not enough.
Katrina was paradigm-shifting because she reminded us what disaster really is and forever altered what it would be like to respond to disaster. This wasn’t the beers-in-the-coolers-shingles-popping-off-the-roofs storms of the past. This was a hurricane that left bodies in the streets. She tested the limits of what we could do for ourselves and for each other.
We have a tendency to measure history in time between disasters. It is a morbid tendency, yes, but through it we honor our shared experience and cultural memory. Because after all this, we’re still here.
History, Culture, and Memoir
Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
Katrina: After the Flood by Gary Rivlin
Cooking Up a Storm: Recipes Lost and Found from the Times Picayune of New Orleans by Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker
Children of Katrina by Alice Fothergill and Lori Peek
Standing in the Need: Culture, Comfort, and Coming Home After Katrina by Katherine E. Browne
1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina by Chris Rose
We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City by Roberta Brandes Gratz
Wind in the Reeds: a Storm, a Play, and the City that Would Not Be Broken by Wendell Pierce and Rob Dreher
Left to Chance: Hurricane Katrina and the Story of Two New Orleans Neighborhoods by J. Stephen Kroll-Smith, Vern K. Baxter, and Pamela Jenkins
Fiction and Graphic Novels
A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld
Landfall by Ellen Urbani
Salvage the Bones by Jesamyn Ward
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
Children’s and Teens’ Books
The Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes
What Was Hurricane Katrina? by Robin Michal Koontz
Zane & the Hurricane: A Story of Katrina by Rodman Philbrick
Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith
Hurricane Song by Paul Volponi
Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana
I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis