“1 Dead in the Attic”—feeling the pain after Katrina

Rose, Chris. “1 Dead in the Attic”, CR Books, 2006.

Feeling the Pain After Katrina

Amos Lassen

I am very surprised that more books were not published about Hurricane Katrina given the literary heritage of New Orleans. There have been a few but there have not been many personal accounts. Chris Rose, a newspaper correspondent in New Orleans, put some of his newspaper columns together and gives a picture of what New Orleans was like after the storm. Reading it is painful and shocking and shows how much that we as Americans take for granted. (Believe me, I know. I was stranded in New Orleans for a little more than a week after Katrina hit).

He writes of what was once my city and the journey many of us took—from living comfortably to roaming around looking for somewhere to live. He brilliantly describes what day-to-day life was like for the citizens of New Orleans after the storm. I am sure many of you have never known what it is like to have to depend upon the kindness of others or to live on a cot in a convention center in a strange place with over 200 roommates who you do not know.

Rose gives us the anger and frustration and the sadness and the joy that we experienced and the beautiful way we were treated by people we did not know,

This is the book to read about Katrina because it is so honest and so well written. Rose accurately describes the sights and sounds of New Orleans and how it feels to see a city almost disappear. I cried and I laughed as I read.

This book is not about the levees that failed or the building that were destroyed or the ineffectiveness of the state and federal government. It is about the people who had to deal with losses which are beyond human comprehension, about loneliness and heartbreak and despair and above all, fear. But it also is compassionate and hopeful and has wicked humor.

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