The Katrina Papers: A Journal of Trauma and Recovery

by Jerry W. Ward, Jr.

196 pages • $18.95 • ISBN: 9780972814331 • May 2009 • Add to Cart


Dr. Jerry W. Ward, Jr. fuses autobiography, politics, spirituality, history, and poetry in this highly inventive trip through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. During the hurricane, Ward sees both his home and the university at which he teaches flooded. In the wake of this trauma, Ward scrambles to find hope and sanity in a city where thousands have been displaced by the whims of nature. Although Ward is filled with anger and grief, his keen observations on life make for an ultimately uplifting read. 

“The struggle with form—the search for a medium proper to the complex social, personal, and political ramifications of an event unprecedented in this scholar’s life and in American social history—lies at the very heart of The Katrina Papers. The book depicts an enigmatic and multistranded world view which takes the local as its nexus for understanding the global. It resists the temptation to simplify or clarify when simplification and clarification are not possible. Ward’s narrative is, at times, very direct, but he always refuses to simplify the complex emotional and spiritual volatility of the process and the historical moment that he is witnessing. The end result is an honesty that is both pedagogical and inspiring.”
—Hank Lazer 


Jerry W. Ward, Jr. is a distinguished professor of English and African American World Studies at Dillard University, New Orleans, LA. Ward spent twenty years as the Lawrence Durgin Professor of Literature at Tougaloo College in Jackson.

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