No longer found opening doors for passengers during his shift as a driver for the Little Rock Trolley, Bruce S. Snow has moved from Little Rock, AR, back to his New Orleans home. Originally purchased by his immigrant grandparents and inhabited by three generations of his family, the Mandeville Street home in NOLA's Gentilly neighborhood was the setting for the early scenes of Bruce's memoir Can Everybody Swim? A Survival Story from Katrina's Superdome. Restored from the flooded remains readers will recognize as the living room where Bruce returned after his neighborhood walk to nap with hippo Klaus and dog Dolja before the water began to rise, with a lot of hard work and heartache (and thirteen years time), Bruce's nightmare has transformed into a livable home for him and his wife.
Bruce shared, "My creative space these days is my living room/rehearsal bad music room/table writing desk. The music gear is transported to a nearby empty bedroom to make room for my wife, Erin, to teach yoga. Don't let the computer fool you, it's a proper boat anchor. I write by hand in little notebooks."
Below, you can see the evidence in a "these notebooks became this book" series of shots, which both begin, "I was there. It was the media event of the year. People across the country were watching their televisions. Comprehensive news coverage spanned the entire globe; America held its collective breath for an entire week . . ."
Below, in the book's center pages, Bruce's snapshots at left from the Mandeville house show how quickly the water rose to overtake a green van. At right, Bruce returns to his home to find out what had become of his beloved family home.
Et Alia is proud to have published Bruce's debut book-length work, which is a vital historical account of this devastating storm that "captured America's rapt attention and swelled our hearts." As far as we know from our research, Bruce's is the only memoir in print written by a New Orleans resident about the lawlessness, violence, and tender mercies that were the week-long life of those who took refuge at the Superdome following Hurricane Katrina.
Join us in celebrating Bruce and Erin's return to his family home, and watch with us to see what is next to fill the stacked notebooks in Bruce's creative space.
Want more Bruce?
Purchase Can Everybody Swim? A Survival Story from Katrina's Superdome for 10% off + free shipping through 1/22/18 with code SNOW at checkout.
- Read The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #99: Bruce Snow.
- Read "Remembering Mercy, Kindness in Katrina's Superdome," an article featuring Bruce's words in New Orleans' Times-Picayune.
- See Bruce's interview on KATV Channel 7's Midday Arkansas.
- Read more about Bruce's story in the Arkansas Times.
- Hear Bruce read his essay, "Foul Weather Friend," on Tales from the South.