Mary Tutwiler

A graphic depiction of Hurricane Katrina

by Mary Tutwiler

I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could read yet another book about Hurricane Katrina. There’s only so much pain a tender heart can take, and dipping back and back into the well of nightmare memories is enough to make even the toughest-hided reporter into a mass of quivering jelly.

With the anniversary of The Storm coming up on Saturday, Aug. 29, I knew we would be inundated, once again, with Katrina memorabilia. I thought I could just look the other way. But Josh Neufeld proved me wrong. A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge graphically depicts the forboding before the storm, the exodus, devastation and agony afterward. But somehow, Neufeld makes it new. New, as in graphic novel.

Yes, a graphic novel is a comic book, but no, it’s not at the same time. A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge is a serious work of non-fiction, following the stories of seven characters as they find their way through the tumultuous times after the flooding of the Crescent City. First published as an online project at Smith, the format allowed for audio and video interviews and a message board, allowing Neufeld to interact with readers as he was designing the book. Just out in print, it's a fascinating take on the flooding of New Orleans. The printed version, published by Pantheon, went on sale last week, and can be found at local bookstores or online.