My Year of Hurricanes

An ongoing series from a writer who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina.

Blake Bailey and his wife lost their home and their possessions to Hurricane Katrina. Two months before, they had moved to New Orleans with their 1-year-old daughter; both had spent much of their adult lives in the city, and they’d returned so that Bailey’s wife could complete her doctoral internship in clinical psychology at Tulane. Bailey, meanwhile, had resumed work on his biography of John Cheever. Because the impact of the disaster looks like it will be a long-term ordeal for many, Slatehas asked Bailey to write a weekly dispatch chronicling his family’s efforts to put their lives together again. His pieces are collected below:


I lost everything in Katrina,” posted Sept. 2, 2005.

Going back to work after losing everything,” posted Sept. 8, 2005.


Three weeks after Katrina: missing cats, Wal-Mart, and a search for day care,” posted Sept. 16, 2005.

The dramatic rescue of our lost cat from New Orleans,” posted Sept. 22, 2005.

Starting over with $2,000 from FEMA,” posted Sept. 30, 2005.

Returning to New Orleans for the first time,” posted Oct. 7, 2005.

A return to moldy New Orleans, and an unexpected death,” posted Oct. 21, 2005.

Calculating the good things that came out of Katrina,” posted Oct. 28, 2005.

A trip to the devastated Lower Ninth Ward,” posted  Nov. 4, 2005.

How a poet and a resurrected dead man saved a Katrina evacuee,” posted Nov. 22, 2005.

Our first Christmas as displaced persons,” posted Jan. 16, 2006.

Memoirs of a Katrina evacuee,” posted Aug. 28, 2006.