Jennifer Shaw: Hurricane Story


"We left in the dark of night"

Stella Kramer had been raving about Jennifer Shaw's 'Hurricane Story'. I was excited when she shared an early copy of the book - we both completely embraced the concept, execution and format. Jennifer Shaw was heavily pregnant when Hurricane Katrina arrived. Hitting the road with dogs, cats and husband they made their way to safety and an unknown midwife.

From Chin Music Press, the publisher:

"'Hurricane Story' is a tale of exile, birth and return told in forty-six photographs and simple, understated prose. This first-person narrative, illustrated through toys and dolls photographed with an inexpensive toy Holga camera, depicts Jennifer Shaw's strange but true tale of her evacuation from New Orleans, including the dramatic birth of her first son on the very day that Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the pressures on her marriage as she and her husband struggle with depression and rage, and their return to New Orleans with their newest family member in time for Mardi Gras. Rob Walker, 'Consumed' columnist for The New York Times Magazine, has written the book's poignant Foreword."

The simplicity of this book, and every image in it, is exceptionally engaging; everything about it just works. I strongly suggest you treat yourself to a copy, and at $18, you can also buy one as a gift. 


"When we arrived at the hospital, it was time."


After the birth "We took our hurricane sideshow on the road."


Returning home  "The city was strangely peaceful."


"FEMA hauled off our downed trees."


Home for Mardi Gras "Anointed in glitter, we reclaimed the streets."

All images © Jennifer Shaw

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