The Faces of Hurricane Katrina

Dan Baum went to New Orleans two days after the levees broke on assignment for The New Yorker. Four years later, has released Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans, a rich tableau of the haunting images of Hurricane Katrina. The book is written in a “close third-person,” which gives the portraits of several survivors—from a “womanizing gynecologist” to a jailbird—a personal and intimate touch. In a New York Times review, Thomas Mallon writes that the book is “splendid,” although Baum is occasionally too sentimental about his subject matter.