Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

by Rebecca Solnit, Rebecca Snedeker


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Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas by Rebecca Solnit, Rebecca Snedeker

Like the bestselling Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, this book is a brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, one that provides a vivid, complex look at the multi-faceted nature of New Orleans, a city replete with contradictions. More than twenty essays assemble a chorus of vibrant voices, including geographers, scholars of sugar and bananas, the city's remarkable musicians, prison activists, environmentalists, Arab and Native voices, and local experts, as well as the coauthors’ compelling contributions. Featuring 22 full-color two-page-spread maps, Unfathomable City plumbs the depths of this major tourist destination, pivotal scene of American history and culture and, most recently, site of monumental disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

The innovative maps’ precision and specificity shift our notions of the Mississippi, the Caribbean, Mardi Gras, jazz, soils and trees, generational roots, and many other subjects, and expand our ideas of how any city is imagined and experienced. Together with the inspired texts, they show New Orleans as both an imperiled city—by erosion, crime, corruption, and sea level rise—and an ageless city that lives in music as a form of cultural resistance. Compact, lively, and completely original, Unfathomable City takes readers on a tour that will forever change the way they think about place.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520274044
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/18/2013
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 465,883
Product dimensions: 7.10(w) x 11.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Solnit is the author of many books, including Savage Dreams, Storming the Gates of Paradise, and Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, all from UC Press. Rebecca Snedeker is an Emmy Award–winning independent filmmaker and native New Orleanian.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sinking In and Reaching Out

Map 1. A City in Time: La Nouvelle-Orléans over 300 Years

How New Orleans Happened, by Richard Campanella

Map 2. Ebb and Flow: Migrations of the Houma, Erosions of the Coast

Southward into Vanishing Lands, by Monique Verdin

Map 3. Stationary Revelations: Sites of Contemplation and Delight

On a Strange Island, by Billy Sothern

Map 4. People Who

Here They Come, There They Go, by Lolis Eric Elie

Map 5. Moves, Remains: Hiding and Seeking the Dead

Bodies, by Nathaniel Rich

Map 6. Oil and Water: Extracting Petroleum, Exterminating Nature

When They Set the Sea on Fire, by Antonia Juhasz

Map 7. Of Levees and Prisons: Failures of Containment, Surges of Freedom

Lockdown Louisiana, by Lydia Pelot-Hobbs

Map 8. Civil Rights and Lemon Ice: Three Lives in the Old City

The Presence of the Past, by Dana Logsdon and Dawn Logsdon

Map 9. Sugar Heaven and Sugar Hell: Pleasures and Brutalities of a Commodity

No Sweetness Is Light, by Shirley Elizabeth Thompson

Map 10. ¡Bananas!

Fruits’ Fortunes at the Gate of the Tropics, by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

Map 11. Hot and Steamy: Selling Seafood, Selling Sex

Salacious and Crustaceous, by Evan Casper-Futterman

Map 12. The Mississippi Is (Not) the Nile: Arab New Orleans, Real and Imagined

The Ibis-Headed God of New Orleans, by Khaled Hegazzi and Andy Young

Map 13. The Line-Up: Live Oak Corridors and Carnival Parade Routes

Sentinels and Celebrants, by Eve Abrams

Map 14. Repercussions: Rhythm and Resistance across the Atlantic

“It Enriches My Spirit to Be Linked to Such a Deep and Far-Reaching Piece of What This Universe Is”: A Conversation with Herreast Harrison and Donald Harrison Jr.

Map 15. Thirty-Nine Sundays: Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs Take It to the Streets

Rollin’ Wid It, by Joel Dinerstein

Map 16. Bass Lines: Deep Sounds and Soils

The Floating Cushion: George Porter Jr. on the City’s Low End

Map 17. Where Dey At: Bounce Calls Up a Vanished City

A Home in Song, by Garnette Cadogan

Map 18. Snakes and Ladders: What Rose Up, What Fell Down During Hurricane Katrina

Nothing Was Foreordained, by Rebecca Solnit

Map 19. St. Claude Avenue: Loss and Recovery on an Inner-City Artery

The Beginning of This Road, by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Map 20. Juju and Cuckoo: Taking Care of Crazy

Holding It Together, Falling Apart, by Rebecca Snedeker

Map 21 . Lead and Lies: Mouths Full of Poison

Charting the Territories of Untruth, by Rebecca Solnit

Map 22. Waterland

The Cement Lily Pad, by Rebecca Snedeker



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