Sunday, December 4, 2011

A.D. New Orleans by Josh Neufeld

A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld

I read this a few weeks back and wanted to write about it here. But life kept getting in the way, and then I had to return it to the library, and I figured – well, that was just a missed opportunity. But this is, in my opinion, such an important work that I need to at least put something down regarding it here.

I followed the news stories when Katrina hit back in 2005. I was as horrified as the next person by the facts that trickled out of New Orleans. I paid attention, as best I could, and read and watched as much as I could about this disaster. And maybe that’s why I held off on reading this for so long. I worried it might be too dry or might offer little that I didn’t already know. I’m not sure. But, I have to say, I am very glad I finally read A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge.

Josh Neufeld’s book recounting how six lives were directly affected by Hurricane Katrina is incredibly moving. He humanizes this tragedy in a way that only the best news stories were able to do. Thanks to the people spotlighted by Neufeld – from an Iranian-American store owner to a well-off, altruistic doctor – readers are afforded the opportunity to experience a variety of viewpoints within New Orleans leading up to, during, and after Katrina hits.

I was surprised how quick a read this was, which is not to slight it in the least. I think it’s a testament to Neufeld’s ability that this is such a complete story and includes so much detail of these victims’ lives. Neufeld boils things down to their basic components. His clean, detailed artwork combined with economical dialogue manages to convey all that is needed for his audience to be engaged by the narrative.

I wish I could speak more specifically to this book. But I apologize; I can’t.

But I can say that once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop. If I hadn’t needed to go to work the morning I opened it up, I probably would have finished it in one sitting. As it was, I finished it that night after I was done with work and dinner and putting out son to bed. A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge was a terribly affecting, well-written, beautifully drawn book. And it is one that any fan of the medium – or any “feeling” person – should make the time to read some day. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


No comments: