I’m always seeking to read about real events, and I’m developing a college course on New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. In my research about fiction and nonfiction, A.D.: New Orleans after the Deluge made a lot of lists. I decided to give it a shot, especially because it was also a graphic novel, and I appreciate narratives that merge or bend genres.
Josh Neufeld takes into six real-life accounts from different parts of New Orleans: a wealthy doctor, who decides to ride out the storm with his friends; a teenager who is forced to evacuate with his family; a couple who has to abandon their collectors’ edition comic books in order to flee; a woman who, with her mother, turns to the Superdome; and a man and his friend who try to ride out the storm in his store, which quickly floods. Each of these stories uncovers the dangers and horrors that make up the hurricane’s aftermath.
This is a gripping account, because it merges true stories from the events leading up to the storm and chronicles them long after the hurricane has passed. These individuals talked to Neufeld and were candid about the ways in which the storm and its echoes shocked them and changed their lives forever. The art is simple, but it complements the stories well, and Neufeld smartly chooses colors that accent each of the characters’ narratives. The structure is well-crafted, as well. Neufeld creates suspense and dread through the way he weaves the narratives together in a way to maximize the tension that we as the readers know will be coming at any point. This is an interesting, engaging narrative, and I recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about Hurricane Katrina.
Cross-posted to my blog.