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Author Paints Big Easy Picture

Though the cataclysm of Hurricane Katrina decked New Orleans, its remarkable, resilient spirit broke through. The courage, flavor and cultural legacy of this unique American city are the focus of writer and New Orleans resident Tom Piazza's talk at Westport Library on Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The author of nine books, Piazza's works have won numerous awards, including the 2008 Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, the Faulkner Society Award and the James Michener Award for Fiction. His book, "Why New Orleans Matters," written after the Hurricane, is now considered a classic. In the fall, a collection of Piazza's non-fiction pieces,"Devil Sent the Rain," will be published.

In addition to awards, Piazza's fiction account of the city's residents during Katrina, "City of Refuge," drew enormous praise from many corners.  Bob Dylan said, "Tom Piazza's writing pulsates with nervous electrical tension – reveals the emotions that we can't define." Booklist lauded its  "unforgettable scenes of biblical consequence, Piazza dramatizes more devastatingly than any journalistic account the hurricane’s shocking aftermath, aligning the failure to protect, rescue, and respect the people of the Lower Ninth with the sweeping brutality of war."

Hear Tom Piazza when he shares his insights about this intriguing, spirited city and as he looks ahead at its complicated future. The event is free. For more information, visit the Library's website .

Do you know New Orleans? Visited there? Share your thoughts and recollections by posting below.

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