Thursday, March 8, 2012

1 Dead in the Attic

I have this little tradition that I quite like.  Before a trip, I like to find a book written on the place I'm going.  That's about the only parameter - it can be fiction/non-fiction.  I read a dense book on the history of Barcelona, really more of a text book than anything else, but it was a great way to gain some context and enjoy the anticipation of the coming trip.

For New Orleans, I ordered Chris Rose's 1 dead in the Attic.  It's proving to be excellent.While I've only just started it, it is shaping up to be a highly worthwhile collection of Post-Katrina stories whether New Orleans is on your radar screen or not.   The tragedy that ensued in the wake of that natural disaster is a critical part of contemporary U.S. history and something from which there is much to learn. 

An excerpt from the introduction,
"...But you didn't have to lose your house, your car, your dog, your job, your marriage, or your grandparents in an attic to suffer the impact of this storm. Unfortunately, most folks around south Louisiana and Mississippi did lose some or all of this.
Others lost less tangible assets: their peace of mind, security, serenity, ability to concentrate, notions of romance, sobriety, sanity, and hope.
The toll it took on me is in the book; I'll not belabor it here other than to say Katrina beat the shit out of me. It beat the shit out of everyone I know. This is our story...."