Continuing our 10th Anniversary blogs about Hurricane Katrina, today I have a book of stories, dealing with before, during and the aftermath.
Aftermath Lounge: A Novel in Stories is a compelling tribute to the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Resurrecting the place and its people alongside their heartaches and triumphs, McMullan creates a riveting mosaic that feeds our wish to understand what it means to be alive in this day and age. The stories are connected by a setting near to the author’s heart—the McMullans’ home, which was originally constructed in 1845 and restored by her father numerous times over the years.
This is a collection of intersecting 22 stories. Some are very short, others longer, but in each a sense of transition and change is either eminent or already occurred, and how that unexpected change affects the characters, is ways good and bad. As the characters go from story to story, the reader sees changes in them and the Gulf Coast area.The parallels are both obvious and subtle. As the area returns to a resemblance of what it was before the Hurricane, so do the characters, yet they can't be the same, They all have been changed, in ways man made and natural, that prohibit an exact return. is it for the better, or for worse? The author allows the reader to make their own decision on that, while subtly showing the way.
This is an interesting read, and one that may evoke haunting memories for some, but a valid addition to the Hurricane Katrina collection.
About the Author:
Margaret McMullan is the author of seven award-winning novels. A recipient of a 2010 NEA Fellowship in literature, a 2010 Fulbright at the University of Pécs in Pécs, Hungary, and the National Author Winner of the 2011 Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award.
She witnessed the destruction and aftermath of Katrina firsthand, and worked at home and on a community level to provide relief and restoration to the Pass Christian area. McMullan and her family have longtime ties with the Gulf Coast region that was devastated by Katrina in 2005. Their historic waterfront Pass Christian home has since been restored and profiled in home magazines such as Southern Accent. She was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship to write Aftermath Lounge. She currently teaches at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Indiana, where she is Professor and Melvin M. Peterson Endowed Chair in Literature and Writing. Check out her website for more
One BTHM reader will win this review copy of Aftermath Lounge
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