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A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge:,
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This review is from: A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge (Hardcover)
Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the city of New Orleans in August 2005, was an epic disaster in American history. It held us all in thrall to our television sets for weeks. But what Josh Neufeld's masterful comic book, or graphic novel about the subject wisely does is give us a perspective on this cataclysmic event through the eyes of a few survivors of that drama that goes light years beyond what television delivered. The structure of the book is a calendar posting of the days before, during, and after the storm, chilling depictions of the natural events and a shifting of colors so gripping, that I literally could not put it down. The survivors we follow through the storm and its aftermath are people outside of the gentrified and suburbanized quarters of New Orleans, and much of America. We resonate to their human-scale concerns as they attempt to ride out or evade the destruction that implodes in their midst. Real family values and ties of friendship, not the often erzatz versions that are dispensed through political rhetoric, are present on every page. The drawings and real-life dialogue so viscerally convey their emotions, which you or I might have in a similar situation, that it was hard to keep in mind that this book was a created artifact. It seemed as I read that it must have sprung to life in one moment as the embodiement of this unforgettable event. I don't want to give away any of its contents, so I will just say, it's a must read and a must keep. For high school and college teachers, as I am, I would recommend the Random House Teachers' Guide by Sari Wilson, which helps young people probe the depths of what the Deluge means in the context of their own lives and that of our nation.