Award-winning novelist and cultural critic Tom Piazza is a longtime resident of New Orleans and a celebrator of the music and culture of that city. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, from a temporary outpost in Missouri, he began work immediately after the storm on this impassioned book-length essay on the storied past, imperiled present, and uncertain future of this great and most neglected of American cities. At its heart, it is a valentine to the people of New Orleans, and a plea for their spiritual survival. "That spirit is in terrible jeopardy right now," he writes. "If it dies, something precious and profound will go out of thePiazza, Tom is the author of 'Why New Orleans Matters ', published 2005 under ISBN 9780061124839 and ISBN 0061124834.