The Wind in the Reeds
If you don’t know who Wendell Pierce is, first watch HBO’s The Wire and Treme and read this later. Especially Treme.
For Wendell Pierce is an actor and a New Orleans native. You can read the reviews of Treme an you will get some idea of the book.
For anyone who visits New Orleans just once, they realize it’s a unique place. It’s in the same category as London, Paris, and Venice. It’s in some ways the most European of American cities, founded separately from the British East Coast colonies.
The book begins with what the title is about Waiting for Godot, performed outside in devastated neighborhoods like the Lower Ninth Ward. Waiting for Godot is a fitting metaphor for New Orleans and what happened with the floods, FEMA and depopulation.
Wendell Pierce is an American story. Ancestors who were slaves, then freed slaves, who fought for their rights, fought in America’s wars and then rightfully demanded their place in the table. The Post World War II move to one’s own home, American success stories, covering growing up, going out and excelling, in ones chosen profession.
This is a book by and about a man, who worked hard, created a successful acting career and returned to help his city in its darkest hour.
It’s a book of hope. National Geographic and other magazines have shown predictions stating that because of global warming, New Orleans wont exist in the year 2100, even if global warming stopped now. It shows how people believe in place against the odds.
Many of us have read books about performers, their successes and downfalls. People interested in acting only will learn something but they will be missing much more this bright man has to talk about. You learn about a family in slavery, New Orleans’ history, and trying to recover from a natural catastrophe, that human beings didn’t help.
I wont give anything else away. Read the book and learn something.