Where We Know: New Orleans As Home

Overview


"Where We Know creates a mosaic of the ultimate mosaic city...these writers illuminate the city's past and the present in a gritty homage fit for natives and foreigners alike. Designed as though Chin Music Press/Broken Levee Books intends to singlehandedly resurrect the art of bookmaking, Where We Know is a book you'll want at your bedside and on your coffee table." —Lucia Silva, NPR

"Rutledge (English, Univ. of New Orleans) shows himself, in an introduction both touching and sincere, to understand fully the ...

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Overview


"Where We Know creates a mosaic of the ultimate mosaic city...these writers illuminate the city's past and the present in a gritty homage fit for natives and foreigners alike. Designed as though Chin Music Press/Broken Levee Books intends to singlehandedly resurrect the art of bookmaking, Where We Know is a book you'll want at your bedside and on your coffee table." —Lucia Silva, NPR

"Rutledge (English, Univ. of New Orleans) shows himself, in an introduction both touching and sincere, to understand fully the city and its struggles, to love New Orleans for what it is and what it can be, what it means both to those who decided to stay and those who left." —Library Journal

"Where We Know is a must for anyone who wants a more excellent understanding of the tenacity of the people of New Orleans." —The Midwest Book Review

Five years after Katrina, New Orleans is still limping. This second book of a planned trilogy looks at both those who stayed on and rebuilt their lives in New Orleans and those who had to say goodbye. It also weaves in historical references and quotes from Louis Armstrong, Lafcadio Hearn, and many others. What emerges is a book that shows how lovers of New Orleans have always battled with its darker side, and how the people's knack for celebrating an impromptu second line goes hand in hand with their acknowledgment of the ghosts in their midst.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the introduction to the second in a trilogy of anthologies centered around New Orleans, editor Rutledge writes, "New Orleans is, to say the least, a problematic home. It is also a rewarding one." This sentiment best describes the voices in this selection of essays, poems, newspaper clippings, journal entries, and quotes. They highlight the city pre- and post-Katrina, presenting a range of both historical and contemporary perspectives. A piece by Mark Folse describes the rotting of St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church, which Folse's father helped design decades ago in the neighborhood Gentilly: "the pews piled up like bones in the oven of a raised tomb." And in "Breach of Contract," Sam Jasper talks of the items he lost to Katrina. Only some things can be replaced. "What we will grieve most is the loss of our belief in a social contract between our government and our populace." Rutledge's own "On Terence Blanchard" references the composer and jazz musician, whose life and work are inextricably tied to New Orleans. These selections combine to provide yet another remembrance of the lives changed and neighborhoods destroyed by the devastating hurricane. They also celebrate the city's unwavering spirit. (Nov.)
From the Publisher

"These selections combine to provide yet another remembrance of the lives changed and neighborhoods destroyed by the devastating hurricane. They also celebrate the city's unwavering spirit." —Publishers Weekly

"From 'Tattooing Katrina' to a marvelous essay on trumpeter Terence Blanchard to a meditation on food as prayer at the New Orleans table, the pieces are both elegiac and hopeful." —Shelf Awareness

"Keeping with the precedent set by it's predecessor, Where We Know has been not only compiled and edited with care but admirably designed to reflect the character and spirit of New Orleans. It's great, not least because it reminds us of the plight of a devastated city still struggling to get back on its feet." —Ace Jet 170

Library Journal
This reviewer, as a native of New Orleans and a Katrina survivor, was hesitant to read this book. However, it was worth the risk. In his second post-Katrina anthology, after Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?, Rutledge (English, Univ. of New Orleans) shows himself, in an introduction both touching and sincere, to understand fully the city and its struggles, to love New Orleans for what it is and what it can be, what it means both to those who decided to stay and those who left. The essays and stories, old and new, are divided into four thematic sections that cumulatively define the New Orleans experience. For those of us who are already a part of a love-hate relationship with the city, this book reminds us that we are not alone in our troubles or in our victories.Verdict All readers interested in the New Orleans experience, either historically or since Katrina, will enjoy this book, a wonderful addition to public libraries, as well as to Louisiana collections.—Sonnet Ireland, Univ. of New Orleans Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780984457618
  • Publisher: Chin Music Press Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,479,728
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


David Rutledge is a literature professor at the University of New Orleans and the editor of the post-Katrina anthology Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? (Chin Music Press, 2006)
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2011

    Calling all New Orleanians, past, present, or wishful!

    The Book Report: An anthology of writings, commissioned as well as previously published, on the topic of New Orleans as one's homeplace, whether corporeal or spiritual.

    My Review: Produced by Chin Music Press's Broken Levee imprint, you know from just that much information that this is a **gorgeous** book to look at, a deeply gruntling book to hold, and a pleasure to read. Hmmm...that pleasure to read bit? If you're not tied emotionally to New Orleans, this book will quite likely bore the socks right off your feet, shoes or no shoes.

    I am tied to New Orleans, though, however unwillingly and with whatever angry, grumpy, "my car needs alignment AGAIN?!?!" caveats, tied I am. Once upon a time, I possessed a carriage house on Carondelet Street. It was tiny, but perfect for one person on vacation, which was me a few times here and there. It's still there, but I can't be...can't make the climate work for me for more than a day or two. Still, there is *no*place* like New Orleans. That's either the thing that makes you go back, or makes you late for the airport.

    And reading this book? It's a lot like being there. It's gonna work, you just know it is, up until the moment it doesn't anymore, and for no obvious reason (Barbara Bodichon's 1867 selection felt like a glass-cutting tool gone wrong to me, Jennifer Kuchta's piece "Jennie's Grocery: R.I.P" was...well...oddly shaped). But there are more successes than failures (Lolis Elie's piece "Still Live, With Voices", good as always, hey Lolis! Long time no hear, the extraordinarily underknown Tracey Tangerine's loud "In My Face", which alone is worth your $16 purchase), and of course the sheer physical beauty of the thing makes it a must-covet-and-retain for any serious lover of bibliophilic curiosa. The maps...the belly-band...the strange, impractical, not-for-the-marts-of-commerce unlaminated WHITE cover (!!)...all are just, well, wondrous. I adore this press's books. I wish I would win the MegaMillions or whatever so I could give them a big, fat grant to stay in business and even grow some.

    But enough. Be warned: Not bit by the Nawlins Vodoun Viper? Don't buy unless you simply can't resist the look of the thing. Already bit? Your soul is gone anyway. Buy it, no regrets.

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