Chris Rose was a reporter for the Times-Picayune, and 1 Dead in Attic is a compilation of his articles published between August 29, 2005, and New Years Day, 2006 (1). The back panel of 1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories does not summarize his self-publication. Rather, it dedicates the book to a man named Thomas Coleman who met his demise in his attic with a can of juice and the comforts of a bedspread at his side. This dedication closes with “There were more than a thousand like him.” That is the life force of Rose’s book. It is not a narrative, it does not feature a clear conclusion, and there is not a distinct beginning, middle, or end. Rather, it exists as a chronology of Rose’s struggle to reestablish normalcy following a time of turmoil. Rose himself states in his introduction “After the storm, I just started writing, not attempting to carve out any niche but just to tell the story, however, it revealed itself to me” (1). Writing became his therapy, his escape from the recesses of his mind and a relief from flooding and the accompanying flood of emotions. His words escaped the basin of the city, unlike some of its inhabitants. Rose’s first person account began as the necessity of self-expression, and later evolved into the face behind articles that presented the new normal.
He sent his words into the void for months, targeting both individuals experiencing similar situations within the scope of the Times-Picayune and those who were elsewhere desiring an account of events. Although not a native New Orleanian, he had made the metropolis his home. He evacuated for the storm but returned as soon as he could to provide newspaper coverage of the area. At this time of vulnerability, the newspaper exis...
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...ts inhabitants dispirited. Rose begins his section “The Ties that Bind” with a picture of individuals rallying around street signs designating “Desire Pkwy”, “Pleasure”, “Humanity”. This image depicts symbols of New Orleans as it was with symbols such as street signs that did not display where one was, but rather where one was heading (71). The people of New Orleans valued these things, and needed them now more than ever. By presenting this particular image, Rose presented the prior normal in a new way.
Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans on August 29th, 2005. Chris Rose was among those who returned early, leaving his family behind, so that he may provide a channel of information. He was a voice, describing for his audience what they were otherwise not privy to, what they could expect upon return, and what was occurring in other regions if they had stayed behind.
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