Ken Wells is originally from Houma, Louisiana, but he left long ago to pursue journalistic dreams in New York City. After writing for the Wall Street Journal for decades and producing several tales of fiction, he recently released The Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayous — a narrative non-fiction about Ricky Robin and other folks down in St. Bernard Parish during and after Katrina.
Robin, a 52-year-old shrimper, rode out the storm on the Lil’ Ricky, the shrimp boat started building in his high school industrial arts class and has used in the years since to make his living. Robin and his family barely made it through the storm and the subsequent levee breaches. Wells does a good job documenting their quest to rebuild and re-create their home and community.
If you’re from Louisiana and know the Katrina story all too well, Wells’ significant research shows has the depth to offer new insight. If you’re not from Louisiana and never fully got the uproar or you’re interested in reading about some of the man-made causes of the post-Katrina catastrophes, you’ll appreciate Wells’ work. Check it out. Let me know what you think.