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The work of almost every New Orleans writer has been irrevocably split into two periods: pre-Katrina and post-Katrina. As Poppy Z. Brite writes in the foreword to this new mini-collection, After the events of 2005, I couldnt see pairing stories Id written before the flood with those Id written after; for better or worse, my life, my outlook, and, necessarily, my work has changed forever ... These are literally antediluvian tales, stories written before August 29, 2005... Whatever else they may be, the stories in this little collection now seem almost impossibly innocent to me.
Antediluvian Tales contains five stories of the Stubbs family, the New Orleans clan whose adventures Brite has chronicled in her popular Liquor novels and other works. Two more stories revisit the authors fictitious alter ego Dr. Brite, the coroner of New Orleans. Completing the book is The Last Good Day of My Life, a nonfiction look at the changes the past two years have wrought on Brite, filtered through a reminiscence about a day she spent knocking around Cairns, Australia.
Any reader who loves New Orleans will treasure these antediluvian tales for the city that exists in them: a city that will never again exist in its pre-Katrina form, but which cannot be killed by hurricanes, floods, or governmental neglect as long as its artists continue to chronicle and cherish it.
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First Hardcover, Sub Press, 2007, Fine/Fine.
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