Reviews of Consuming Katrina

"Even among the countless books on Hurricane Katrina, Consuming Katrina occupies a place distinctly its own as a champion of disaster survivors' storytelling rights. Kate Parker Horigan's guiding principle is that every journalist, scholar, or artist who seeks to help survivors tell their stories must allow them to speak for themselves. In a series of brilliant close readings, Horigan reveals the myriad, often unconscious ways in which outsiders' stereotypes, misunderstandings, and personal agendas obscure survivor accounts, and she celebrates those moments when survivors' voices do succeed in breaking through. Everyone who studies disaster narratives, as well as everyone who wonders how disaster survivors feel when others retell their stories, needs to read this book. And, everyone who has had to suffer through a disaster will find an understanding friend in Horigan and great support and solace in Consuming Katrina."

— Carl Lindahl, founder of the International Commission on Survivor-Centered Disaster Response

"Consuming Katrina is an important and compelling book about Hurricane Katrina in particular and trauma narrative in general. Kate Parker Horigan takes readers on an excursion through the multiple narratives about Hurricane Katrina, from personal narratives told by survivors to comics, film, and literature, from the early days after the disaster to the tenth anniversary commemorations. Horigan understands the personal stories told by survivors and the media representations within the larger context of discourses of disaster. Together, these stories, discourses, and representations constitute the public memory of trauma and contribute to or detract from efforts to recover and to claim ownership of the experience. The book belongs on the shelf of anyone interested in how we shape narratives and how narratives shape our lives in the wake of disaster."

— Amy Shuman, professor of folklore and narrative at The Ohio State University

"Kate Parker Horigan meticulously traces commercial and institutional re-mediations of Katrina survivor experiences from the initial collaborations through the reception of their various products. With her precise identification of the mechanisms by which actors lost agency over their own stories and dominant narratives reasserted themselves, Horigan substantiates the suspicions of many New Orleanians: ‘the insatiable appetite for disaster stories’ does not ultimately benefit the individuals whose experiences are set forward for public consumption."

— Dorothy Noyes, professor of English and comparative studies at The Ohio State University and 2018–19 president of the American Folklore Society


Feel free to share your own thoughts about the book here.


If you're interested in writing a review of this book please contact the author or one of the following:

  • Journal of American Folklore: contact book review editors Benjamin Gatling (bgatling@gmu.edu), Joy Fraser (jfraser3@gmu.edu), and Debra Lattanzi Shutika (dshutika@gmu.edu).

  • Journal of Folklore Research Reviews

  • New Directions in Folklore: contact John E. Price, reviews editor, at newdirectionsinfolklore@gmail.com.

  • Western Folklore

  • Any other relevant journals