The post-Katrina literary output of current and former Gambit writers has been prodigious. Chris Rose's 1 Dead in Attic, first published in a limited edition in 2006, was such a popular and critical success that an updated version was issued in 2007. These columns from The Times-Picayune are a weekly diary of a city beginning to stir from a death blow, and a man trying to do the same.
Former Gambit editor Michael Tisserand, who relocated to Lafayette with his wife and young children in the months after the flood, published Sugarcane Academy, a nonfiction book about New Orleans refugees in Cajun country setting up their own school while waiting to move home.
Food critic Ian McNulty returned to Mid-City in a boat two weeks after the flood, and he told the story of that neighborhood's devastation and struggle to revive in A Season of Night: New Orleans Life after Katrina. Meanwhile, former Gambit food critic Sara Roahen scored national success with Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at the New Orleans Table, which sketched the character of New Orleanians through the foods they ate; it was the 2009 choice of the One Book, One New Orleans community reading initiative.
Our second-line correspondent, Big Red Cotton, published Notes From New Orleans, a collection of post-storm essays originally written for the AOL Black Voices website. It brought the people and culture of Treme to a wider audience long before the TV series of the same name, and Red continues her work at www.notesfromneworleans.com.
This month, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press is publishing the long-aborning New Orleans: What Can't Be Lost: 88 Stories and Traditions from the Sacred City, which includes essays and stories by Rose, McNulty and Gambit's special sections editor Missy Wilkinson.