cover image Untold: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew

Untold: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew

Lynette Norris Wilkinson. Write Creations, $13.99 trade paper (118p) ISBN 978-0-9706292-1-0

New Orleans native Wilkinson, who after Hurricane Katrina welcomed 16 storm survivors into her Dallas home, offers readers an engrossing and important book that provides a fresh glimpse of the Lower Ninth Ward and its “hardworking, family-oriented people, who owned their homes, had a sense of community, and were contributing members of society.” Giving voice to the voiceless, Wilkinson helps these survivors tell their stories: they describe the devastation of the storm and coping with personal losses, as well as forging new beginnings. For 83-year-old Geraldine, Katrina meant leaving “the only place I ever lived,” while for Betty it meant living “in four different cities before we came back to New Orleans.” Wilkinson’s succinct narratives prove that there’s more to the residents of the Lower Ninth Ward than was shown in the media’s coverage of Katrina, and they constitute a splendid oral history as well. This is an unpretentious, readable, informative, and extraordinary account that shouldn’t slip through the cracks. (BookLife)