We’re Still Here: 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

This post comes from Jan, our second floor inventory manager and a Louisiana native.

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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.

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History, Culture, and Memoir

Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death and Life in New Orleans by Dan Baum

Shots on the Bridge: Police Violence and Cover-Up in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina by Ronnie Greene

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

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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

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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

-Jan

2 thoughts on “We’re Still Here: 10 Years After Hurricane Katrina

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