Under Surge, under Siege: The Odyssey of Bay St. Louis and Katrina

Overview

Winner of the 2010 Eudora Welty Book Prize and the Mississippi Library Association's Non-fiction Author's Award for 2011, Under Surge, Under Siege shows how Hurricane Katrina tore into Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, raking away lives, buildings, and livelihoods in a place known for its picturesque, coastal views; its laid-back, artsy downtown; and its deep-dyed southern cordiality. The tragedy also revealed the inner workings of a community with an indomitable heart and profound neighborly bonds. Those connections ...

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Under Surge, Under Siege: The Odyssey of Bay St. Louis and Katrina

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Overview

Winner of the 2010 Eudora Welty Book Prize and the Mississippi Library Association's Non-fiction Author's Award for 2011, Under Surge, Under Siege shows how Hurricane Katrina tore into Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, raking away lives, buildings, and livelihoods in a place known for its picturesque, coastal views; its laid-back, artsy downtown; and its deep-dyed southern cordiality. The tragedy also revealed the inner workings of a community with an indomitable heart and profound neighborly bonds. Those connections often brought out the best in people under the worst of circumstances. In Under Surge, Under Siege, Ellis Anderson, who rode out the storm in her Bay St. Louis home and sheltered many neighbors afterwards, offers stories of generosity, heroism, and laughter in the midst of terror and desperate uncertainty.

Divided into two parts, this book invites readers into the intimate enclave before, during, and after the storm. "Under Surge" focuses on connections between residents, then demonstrates how those bonds sustained them through the worst hurricane in U.S. history. "Under Siege" documents the first three years of the grinding aftermath, detailing the unforeseen burdens of stress and depression, insurance scandals, and opportunists that threatened to complete the annihilation of the plucky town.

A blend of memoir, personal diary, and firsthand reportage, Under Surge, Under Siege creates a compelling American testament to the strength of the human spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

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Ellis Anderson rode out Katrina in her hometown. Unfortunately, Bay St. Louis, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, turned out to be ground zero for the worst hurricane in U.S. history. Her Under Surge, Under Siege is a memoir, but much more. Blending personal stories and reportage, Anderson describes the event that didn't just knock the stuffing out her region; it taught her to understand community as a survival mechanism. Editor's recommendation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604735024
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 6/15/2010
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,498,244
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellis Anderson received a Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship for portions of this book. An excerpt appeared in Southern Cultures.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2010

    A Reality Check

    If you think you know something about what it was like to live through Katrina and its aftermath, read this book and be stunned by the reality of it. This is a searing and deeply touching account of brave souls that endured the unthinkable and survived, although not unscathed. Ellis Anderson describes a community torn asunder by the forces of nature, seemingly forgotten by the rest of the country as all eyes turned to New Orleans, but a community that stood slowly up, shook off the debris and stood together against every obstacle laid in their weary path. If this account of Bay St. Louis does not stir your soul, I can think of nothing that will.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    A sobering reminder on the 5th anniversary of Katrina

    A book about a too-often-overlooked effect of Katrina on the Gulf Coast. But it is more than just a chronicle of some very personal experiences of riding out the storm: it's about a community, rebuilding, and how a dedicated group of people survived not only the storm, but the "rescuers," media, tourists, bureaucrats, and developers who followed the storm.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2010

    Outstanding Read

    This is an outstanding read. I would read it on the commute home, tears on my face, and have to close it a couple of stops before I had to get out of the subway to ensure that I didn't miss my stop. I would come up from the Metro and have difficulty moving from the reality of the book to my "real" world. Katrina is more than just New Orleans. This book gives you a clear view of how the people of one community dealt with her. It is well written, an easy read. You'll cry, you'll laugh, and Katrina and its aftermath will become more real to you.

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  • Posted July 14, 2010

    Katrina and its aftermath

    Having lost our home in Katrina we can strongly associate with the events described by Ellis Anderson. This book will stay with a family for many ages as others want to learn or remember the horrendous devastion. We have sent copies to our children. As younger people grow older they will more and more appreciate what we and they endured. Someone asked me once what had happened to those who stayed behind in our local area, population about 2600. The answer was 36 stayed behind and 35 died; just in our small portion of the city of Waveland.

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  • Posted June 19, 2010

    An Outstanding Achievement

    Ellis Anderson has created a masterpiece of storytelling in this compelling anthology of journal entries and essays about her experience during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Ellis, a free-lance journalist for years, applies her well-honed skills to this task with great effect. This book will alternately make your heart race and bring tears to your eyes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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