Even as The New Republic claims in their September 10, 2010 article that “the literary response to Hurricane Katrina has been almost nonexistent,” NewSouth begs to differ. While writer Chloe Schama believes that “no major literary figure has illustrated the effects of the hurricane,” NewSouth proudly points to Tony Dunbar’s Tubby Meets Katrina, published in the wake of the storm.
Tony Dunbar, a New Orleans-based attorney and award winning author, created his seventh mystery in the Tubby Dubonnet series in order to capture the grim picture of the Crescent City in those days of chaos only five years ago. As Tubby’s tries to save his kidnapped daughter, Dunbar explores the struggles surrounding the Convention Center, the flooding jail, and the incompetence of state and local authorities. Dunbar’s depiction of the aftermath surrounding this horrific event has received high praise and many glowing reviews; Kirkus Reviews wrote that “Dunbar ushers in the era of Hurricane Katrina fiction [and] scores an even more decisive bull’s eye in his account of the disaster after the disaster.”
Additionally, Rod Davis, a Texas-based writer and editor and author of the Pen/Southwest Fiction Award-winning Corina’s Way, spent several weeks in New Orleans during the aftermath of Katrina and was able to meet with survivors and see the damage firsthand. He is writing a new novel based on of his “kind of witness-bearing” that he will forever remember. On his blog, Ochosi Chronicles, Davis writes:
It has taken me most of this time to feel that I could write about it in fiction, which I am now doing for a new novel for NewSouth Books. … We all remember what happened, and what didn’t happen, and what needs to happen. … I think everyone who cares about the South can never forget the meaning of Katrina. And not just the damage from the storm. The way the most important city in the South, if not the U.S., was left to die. And that it has not done so.
While some may believe that the proper literary respect has not been given to Hurricane Katrina and its aftershocks, NewSouth Books, along with Tony Dunbar and Rod Davis, has been working hard to present titles that convey the experience of the storm.