Second Line Rescue
Improvised Responses to Katrina and Rita

Edited by Barry Jean Ancelet
and Marcia Gaudet

Edited by Carl Lindahl

288 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction, 40 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index

978-1-61703-796-2 Cloth $35.00R

Cloth, $35.00

How beleaguered citizens created their own salvation when their institutions failed

Contributions from François Ancelet, Josef Brown, Charles A. Darensbourg, Mike Davis, Jocelyn H. Donlon, Jon G. Donlon, Nicole Eugene, Anthony Fontenot, Ernest J. Gaines, Glenda Harris, Sidney Harris, Chantell Jones, Robert LeBlanc, Glen Miguez, Shari L. Smothers, Dave Spizale, Angela Trahan, and Vincent Trotter

Second Line Rescue: Improvised Responses to Katrina and Rita chronicles the brave and creative acts through which Gulf Coast people rescued their neighbors during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Ordinary citizens joined in with whatever resources they had. Unlike many of the official responders, vernacular rescuers found ways around the paralysis. They were able to dispel unfounded fears produced by erroneous or questionable reporting. The essays, personal narratives, media reports, and field studies presented here all have to do with effective and often ingenious answers that emerged from the people themselves.

The first part of the collection deals with Gulf Coast rescuers from outside stricken communities: those who, safe in their own homes and neighborhoods, marshaled their resources to help their fellow citizens. The second part features the words of hurricane survivors displaced from New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities to Houston, Texas. In many cases, the "victims" themselves were the first responders, rescuing family, friends, and strangers. All of the stories, whether from the "outside" or "inside" responders, reveal a shared history of close-knit community bonds, survival skills sharpened by hard times, and what went right in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita--in spite of all that went so wrong.

Barry Jean Ancelet, Scott, Louisiana, holds the Willis Granger and Tom Debaillon/BORSF Professorship in Francophone Studies and is a Research Fellow at the Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is the author of numerous books including Cajun and Creole Music Makers and Cajun Country (University Press of Mississippi). Marcia Gaudet, Duson, Louisiana, is professor emerita in English at University of Louisiana at Lafayette and author of Carville: Remembering Leprosy in America (University Press of Mississippi). Carl Lindahl, Houston, Texas, is a professor of English and folklore at the University of Houston and author of Cajun Mardi Gras Masks and Swapping Stories: Folktales from Louisiana (University Press of Mississippi).

288 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, introduction, 40 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index