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Tom Piazza Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

My Cold War (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
City of Refuge (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Free State (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Auburn Conference (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Blues and Trouble (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Pantheon Guide to Jazz (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Guide to Classic Recorded Jazz (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Setting the Tempo (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blues Up and Down (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
True Adventures with the King of Bluegrass (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Understanding Jazz: Ways to Listen with Cd (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Why New Orleans Matters (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Devil Sent the Rain (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Tom Piazza

Tom Piazza is an American historical fiction and non-fiction writer best known for his Award-winning novel Why New Orleans Matters. He also has an impressive collection of books to his name. Tom’s writing has featured in The New York Times, The Oxford American, and The Bookforum, among other periodicals. He is a Grammy Award winner for the album notes he made for Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues. Tom lives in New Orleans.

Why New Orleans Matters

Why New Orleans Matters is Tom Piazza’s most celebrated novel and for a good reason. The book is about New Orleans, its people, and all the things that happened before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.

In the wake of this killer storm, many people lost their lives, their loved ones, as well as their properties. Many fled the City, and as the heart-wrenching drama in this City unfolded, the question on many people’s minds is what would happen to New Orleans in the future. Could this mean the end of the road for this beautiful City, or is there hope that it will rise again?

This book is narrated from the first-person point of view by a person caught up during the most trying time in New Orleans’s history.

In Why New Orleans Matters, Tom Piazza writes about the culture and the uncertain future of those who live in this neglected American City. The story details cultural events such as the Jazz Fest and traditions such as the Mardi Gras. These traditions and events led to the popularity of jazz music as well as Creole cooking. From these events, it is evident that New Orleans has contributed a great deal to the cultural achievements in the U.S.

The story does not just concentrate on the positive only as there are also details about racism, corruption, and the injustices that the people of New Orleans have had to endure. There are bad people behind the scenes, and the residents in the City also suffer from the social and political injustices meted on them. However, from the author’s description, it is easy to fall in love with this City. For all those who thought that New Orleans is not worth the saving, this book explains why such a thought is misguided and unfair.

It’s also clear that the author is concerned about the future of this graceful and resilient City. In the wake of rising tides and people who want the City gone, there is no denying that the future of New Orleans is uncertain. The author is successful in compelling the reader to think about the fate of New Orleans and the gap that will be left if the City is to disappear forever.

This book paints a perfect portrait of New Orleans before and after the Hurricane hit the City. The first bit of the book concentrates on the character of the City while the second bit shows the destruction of the city. The Why, New Orleans Matter book is beautifully written, and for a non-fiction book, it is quite intriguing. Want to get a deeper understanding of New Orleans? Read this book, and you will get all the information you need on this resilient and beautiful City.

City of Refuge

The City of Refuge is another of Piazza’s writing that is based on Hurricane Katrina. Unlike Why New Orleans Matter, this is a fiction piece that tells the story of two New Orleans families. One of these families is white while the other one is black. The book shows how Hurricane Katrina changes the course of both families.

One of the families is privileged, and when the Hurricane strikes the City, they evacuate and get to a safe place quickly. The family watches the events following the storm from their haven in Chicago. The other family is not as lucky as they live from paycheck to paycheck and is not able to evacuate and avoid the devastating effects of the storm that leaves close to 2000 people dead and many others without food or shelter. The low-income family witnesses the events as they occur and are directly affected when they helplessly watch the water fill the only place they could take refuge from the storm.

At the start, the book paints a picture of the perfect life just before the storm. While the City is calm, the people know that danger is in the shadows as the government has not done enough to shelter the City from the forces of nature. The story then covers the Hurricane and its effect on the people who choose to stay. Towards the end, the book highlights some of the tough choices that people are forced to make.

This book highlights the effects of unforgiving Mother Nature and a government that was less concerned about the plight of its citizens. Thanks to this book, readers get a glimpse of the emotional and physical losses that came with the storm. Given that this catastrophic event happened, the characters are alive, and it is easy to identify with their pain and struggles. There are indeed many families who were able to leave before the storm and others who had no choice but to stay and pray that the storm will spare their lives and properties.

The City of Refuge is a story of love and loss. The book highlights the strength of those directly affected by the storm. This is also a story of falling yet refusing to give up, new beginnings, and letting go, and it is about New Orleans. The biggest lesson here is that New Orleans has been to hell and back, and it is amazing that this beautiful city is still standing. If you want a captivating account of Hurricane Katrina and the relentless City of New Orleans, this book is ideal. The cast is lovable, and the details in this story will help you understand just how the people of New Orleans suffered and continue to leave with the physical and emotional wounds that Hurricane Katrina left in this town.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Tom Piazza

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