Photo by Mark H. Baker used under a Creative Commons license.
Rob Walker, Letters from New Orleans (Garrett County Press, 2005).
Shortly before January 1, 2000, Walker and his girlfriend moved to New Orleans, where they had not lived before. They stayed three years, during which Walker wrote about his new city in fourteen letters to family friends, gathered here. Walker says in an introductory note that he never thought they’d be published in this way, “[b]ut here they are.” Walker’s New Orleans is not the city most tourists visit – do not pick this book up to plan a weekend visit, but do pick it up. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, reading these pieces is coming home from a relative’s funeral to look at snapshots from the last family reunion. (The 2005 edition, which I read, was published before Katrina. A 2006 edition includes additional material.)
The publisher offers an excerpt. Google Books has excerpts, reviews, and more.
In 2000, Walker wrote this diary for Slate, later included in the book. Walker’s blog links to several interviews and reviews. Flak Magazine’s interview is worthy reading. And see these reviews from Colleen Mondor (Chin Music Press), Kate Sekules (The New York Times), Rick, Aj, and Quiet Bubble. If you’ve read all that and still want more, devote yourself to No Notes, a blog by Walker which, in his words, is a partial spinoff of the book. All sorts of good stuff is there. You can also check out MLK BLVD, an “open source” photo/journalism blog by Walker and others.