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Kevin AllmanCraig and SJ, different as they are, have one thing in common: They're stuck in place, unable to move on from New Orleans, unable to move back. For them, Chicago and Houston are mental dislocations as much as physical ones. That feeling of rootlessness is the central theme of City of Refuge, and for anyone whose life has been upended by natural disaster, the novel's sense of being out of place will resonate just as loudly as it did in Why New Orleans Matters. Explaining this city's inexorable, gravitational pull to outsiders who see only corruption, crime, poverty and malarial weather is a tough order, but every page of Piazza's deeply felt story explains a larger truth about why people live where they do: because it's home, and heart.
—The Washington Post