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Jennifer Shaw's Stunning Pictures Tell 'Hurricane Story'

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Jul. 11, 2011
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Hurricane Katrina was one of the most devastating storms to ever strike the Gulf Coast, ultimately displacing more than 1 million residents. Much of the destruction occurred in the New Orleans area, prompting that city's first mandatory evacuation. Those made homeless by the violent upheaval of the 2005 hurricane included author Jennifer Shaw, a Milwaukee native who recorded her forced exodus from New Orleans in the book Hurricane Story (Chin Music Press).

Hurricane Story
is a visual narrative that combines simple prose with stunning photography to illustrate one woman's staggering flight from New Orleans amid the disaster of Katrina—a memoir made even more sensational by the fact that Shaw gave birth to her son on the day the hurricane struck. There are many chronicles following New Orleans residents who were forced to abandon the flooded city and later returned for a bittersweet homecoming, but Hurricane Story is unique in its use of images of light and form to add meaning and depth to the devastating impact of the storm.

Shaw grew up in Milwaukee and earned a BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. After college, Shaw moved to New Orleans. Her photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including B&W Magazine, Oxford American and New Orleans Review. Shaw will discuss Hurricane Story at Boswell Book Co. on July 14 at 7 p.m.


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