Synopses & Reviews
In the aftermath of Katrina and the disaster that followed, promises were made, forgotten, and renewed. Now what will become of New Orleans in the years ahead? What do this proud, battered city and its people mean to America and the world?
Award-winning author and longtime New Orleans resident Tom Piazza illuminates the storied culture and uncertain future of this great and neglected American metropolis by evoking the sensuous rapture of the city that gave us jazz music and Creole cooking; examining its deep undercurrents of corruption, racism, and injustice; and explaining how its people endure and transcend those conditions. And, perhaps most important, he asks us all to consider the spirit of this place and all the things it has shared with the world: its grace and beauty, resilience and soul.
"Hot and real and from the heart....An emotionally wrenching experience — at times hilarious, at times heartbreaking." New Orleans Times-Picayune
"Pensive and elegiac...sharp [and] steely....A mournful dirge and a vivacious ode to the city." Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"An enjoyable meander through what used to be called 'the city that care forgot.'" Houston Chronicle
"Like a good jazz funeral, Why New Orleans Matters is both a mournful dirge and a vivacious ode to the city. Some have penned the city's epitaph, but Piazza is optimistic. Read this book and you'll be with him." Rocky Mountain News
Award-winning novelist and cultural critic 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 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
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, award-winning novelist, cultural critic, and New Orleans resident Piazza began work on this impassioned book-length essay on the storied past, imperiled present, and uncertain future of this great and most neglected of American cities.
About the Author
Tom Piazza is the author of ten books of fiction and nonfiction, including the post-Katrina classic Why New Orleans Matters and the Willie Morris Award-winning novel City Of Refuge. His other books include the critically acclaimed novel My Cold War and the short-story collection Blues And Trouble. A well known writer on American music as well, he won a Grammy Award for his album notes to Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey. Piazza currently writes for HBO's New Orleans-based dramatic series TREME. He lives in New Orleans.