Why New Orleans Matters

Why New Orleans Matters

by Tom Piazza
3.5 6


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Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza

Award-winning novelist and cultural critic writer Tom Piazza is a longtime resident of New Orleans, and a celebrator of the music and culture of that city. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, from a temporary outpost in Missouri, he began work immediately after the storm on this impassioned book-length essay on the storied past, imperiled present, and uncertain future of this great and most neglected of American cities. At its heart, it is a valentine to the people of New Orleans, and a plea on for their spiritual survival. "That spirit is in terrible jeopardy right now," he writes. "If it dies, something precious and profound will go out of the world forever. Maybe not entirely; maybe New Orleans people, black and white, will get together in exile every year and commemorate their holidays and their spirit, Mardi Gras and jazzfest, red beans on Monday and barbecue and beer at Vaughan's on Friday evening, maybe zydeco night at Rock n' bowl on Thursday, and keep it alive in exile as the descendents of the Israelites have kept their faith and their covenant alive. That is up to them. But in the near term, the place, the sacred ground, that gave birth to all that beautiful and deep spirit hangs in the balance."

In the tradition of Pete Hamill's Why Sinatra Matters, Peter Guralnick's Searching for Robert Johnson, and E. B. White's Here Is New York, Why New Orleans Matters is a gift from one of our most talented writers to the beloved and important city he calls home-and to a nation to whom that city's survival has been entrusted.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061124839
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/22/2005
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.25(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Tom Piazza is the author of the novels City of Refuge and My Cold War, the post-Katrina manifesto Why New Orleans Matters, the essay collection Devil Sent the Rain, and many other works. He was a principal writer for the HBO drama series Treme and the winner of a Grammy Award for his album notes to Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues: A Musical Journey. He lives in New Orleans.

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Why New Orleans Matters 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You weren't there. This man was and I was 60 miles to the north. You weren't there.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was part of my summer reading. I disliked it completely, and wonder where his information even comes from. It is also short and not much of a read at all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found Tom Piazza's book Why New Orleans Matters to be a disappointing read. Reading it, I felt as if it was written in haste - written with the goal of being the first published post-Katrina book rather than a well thought out and stirring account of New Orleans' colorful past, devastated present and hopeful future. Key issues were either glazed over or slighted. I wanted to read about the issues and nuances that make this city worth resurrecting and not about the violent attacks and mismanagment during hurricane Katrina. The two angles are counter-productive.