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Rebecca Solnit & Rebecca Snedeker: Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

University of California Press, 2013; 176pp; £19.95

ImageHere’s a book to counter climate change! I travelled through New Orleans every night from my bed, becoming intimate with neighbourhoods through maps of sounds and corpses and bananas; poetic and political maps such as ‘Snakes and Ladders: What rose up and what fell down during Hurricane Katrina’; I followed the fluidity of a delta city where the concrete and metaphor elide in ‘Of Levees and Prisons: failures of containment, surges of freedom’, with many ‘did you know?’ moments (Louisiana was founded as a convict dump, and one in 14 Black men residing in New Orleans are locked up!). Beautiful cartography and from-the-street, intimate essays by lives lived in this city. My wanderlust was sated.