Author of City of Refuge Tom Piazza
"City of Refuge" is the culmination of years of thinking about and loving a place. Piazza took his title from the gospel song by Blind Willie Johnson, who made records in New Orleans in the 1920s.
"Everybody in the book, in some kind of way, needs some kind of refuge, either as a result of the storm, or before the storm," Piazza said. "At some point the characters need to find their way out of and readjust their relationship to a place of -- what's the word? -- not acceptance, not comfort, not necessarily safety even.
"I think everybody who is in New Orleans now had to make a choice to be here and it was not an automatic choice. Maybe for half of one percent of the people here, it wasn't a question. For everybody else it was a question."
And no matter what the answer, there is a price to pay.