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Not Just the Levees Broke: My Story During and After Hurricane Katrina Paperback – August 11, 2009
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Leblanc, one of the Hurricane Katrina survivors featured in Spike Lee’s HBO documentary When the Levees Broke, offers her own extended recollection of the destruction of New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. Leblanc details the decision her family made to stay in their apartment and ride out the storm and the preparations they made for what they thought would be just another hurricane. Leblanc, her husband, Ron, her mother, and a young nephew with autism were among the Ninth Ward residents mired in filthy water and inhuman conditions following the storm. Leblanc recalls, in very human flashes of selfishness, not wanting her more altruistic husband to risk his life helping others. She, a more reluctant hero, plotted to punish political figures she held responsible, as she struggled along atop the levee, overcoming her own fears to help strangers and try not to judge those who took advantage. All the while, Leblanc wondered about the politics of the city and the nation that would allow such a tragedy. A very plainspoken and personal look at a tragedy with national consequences. --Vanessa Bush --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Author
Hello. I would like to thank my many supporters for reading and understanding the trials and tribulations of survival. Writing "Not Just The Levees Broke" My Story During and After Hurricane Katrina was very painful, but cathartic. It literally, saved my life being able to release all that we endured during one of the most painful times in my life. When I am asked about giving Glory to God, some readers have pointed out the profanity in my memoir. I simply tell them, "I Pray more than I Cuss." God knows my heart and I survived for a reason. My next memoir I am hoping to have published is also a journey of survival. Only this time, this one began as a teenager of 16 years old, into my young womanhood of being abused by a boyfriend. It is a story that I am hoping reaches parents to communicate with their children on both sides. The abused and the abusers, so that we can somehow bring to light this "Secret Society" that not only affects adults, but young people. Thanks again for the support and those who choose to criticize me for my being so direct and to the point. Phyllis Montana-Leblanc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I heard about the book when she was being interviewed on the Tom Joyner show. I rushed out and got it. Let me tell you, this book takes you where the TV did not. I can't imagine how they did made it. Sticking around vs. leaving town. Taking the chance to go out beyond their "safe haven" through murky waters. Going from place to place until they ended up in San Antonio. Going for a week in the clothes on their backs and no baths.
Phyllis Montana Leblanc is no seasoned writer, nor did the editor correct every pargraph or sentence. I don't think that is what this book is about or meant to be presented as. Keep in mind this is her personal account, just as if you were reading her journal or sitting out on the porch listening to her tell it to you - minute by minute. I finished the book on a lazy afternoon, it's only a couple hundred pages but makes you feel like you endured the entire week.
and feel that the Montanna sisters really made that film.
I know anyone who also appreciated this film will be
interested in reading the book Phyllis wrote
about her family's experience and struggle with Hurricane
Katrina and the aftermath. It is another perspective of
what it was like to be in the middle of it and not observed
from the outside as an academic and is a welcome addition to
the library of Hurricane Katrina books that are now out.
I was troubled when Phyllis said in her presentation at the
Louisiana Book Festival that she had not read her own book
but she assured me she meant that she did not want to review it
after it was completed because it was such a painful experience
reliving the ordeal over again as she recounted it.
I understand she is now out of the fema trailor and has purchased
a new home and will be continuing university studies and possibly
playing herself in a television series about New Orleans.
I knew she would prevail in the end! I expect this is not the
last effort from her and that she has a bright future ahead in the literary world.
Although she alway enjoyed writing a little poetry I doubt that Phyllis Montana-Leblanc ever imagined that one day she would write and publish a book. This incredible opportunity came along after Phyllis was interviewed for Spike Lee's documentary film "When The Levees Broke". Spike Lee was extremely impressed with what Phyllis had to say and the way she was able to say it. It was apparent to Lee that Phyllis was "the dominent voice in the piece". Well one thing led to another and before long the chance to do a book came along. And Phyllis made the most of her once in a lifetime opportunity. Now I will have to admit that some of Phyllis' choicest language was entirely justified. Her graphic descriptions of her immediate surroundings in the aftermath of the storm seem entirely justified. There is simply no polite way to describe a scene where water polluted with oil, garbage, debris and human excrement is flooding your home. I could not have imagined how bad things really were in the City of New Orleans during those dark days but Phyllis Montana-Leblanc succeeds in making it all abundantly clear. Phyllis also decries what she considers to be the woefully inadequate response of government at all levels to this dreadful situation.
After finishing "Not Just The Levees Broke" I came to this conclusion. Author Phyllis Montana-Leblanc is a person who loves her city, loves her country, loves her family and loves her God. She is definitely a person who has something to say and without Hurricane Katrina we would have never heard from her. All of this makes me wonder if it would be not be great idea to offer more so-called "average" Americans the opportunity to write a book. I suspect there are lots of talented writers out there who do something else for a living that would just love to do this. There is obviously no shortage of books out there by the cultural elite. Perhaps some publisher would consider an "Ordinary Americans" series. At the end of the day I found "Not Just The Levees Broke: My Story During and After Hurricane Katrina" to be well worth my time. It is unlike any book that I have ever read before. Kudos to Phyllis Montana-Leblanc for a job well done! Recommended.