Saturday, January 30, 2010
BY GAIL GRAY
In New Orleans following Katrina all bets are of; all masks dissolved. "Don't forget the sham in shaman," Jacob Laguerre lies to his new apprentice, Alex Hampton. When Alex, a twenty-eight year-old anthropology professor goes on field-study to post-Katrina New Orleans, he enters a chaotic and altered landscape where he's psychologically, physically and spiritually challenged by the sarcastic mentoring of the mulatto, Laguerre, a current day voudou shaman.
Both Laquerre's and Alex's psyches struggle through stages of transition and rebirth as their lives are enmeshed with a group of quirky fringe-dwellers, as colorful and eccentric as the New Orleans itself. Lily Hampton, a sculptor, torn between her love for both men; Mavis, an artist who spent nights in her attic, but survived the floods; Perry Laguerre, Jacob's hermaphroditic twin, and Bad Jacqui, lesbian owner of a French Quarter bar: are pulled together to form the cynical but ultimately idealistic team who vow to stay in post-Katrina New Orleans.
They all follow a taut path between madness and redemption in the no man's land of Refrigerator Town as they assist in the aftermath and healing of both the city and those who remain.