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Stories Care Forgot

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You have to be seriously into zines to dig this slim volume, subtitled "An Anthology of New Orleans Zines" (Last Gasp). Sprinkled with typos, misspellings, and occasional blocks of chicken scratch, it's a primo example of warts 'n' all self-publishing. But there's great documentation here of the beautiful and sordid mess that was antediluvian New Orleans, as seen through the lens of its scrappy punk underground. Edited by former Crescent City zinester Ethan Clark and organized by topic--neighborhoods, bicycles, jobs--the collection repeatedly triggers the ache that now accompanies any consideration of New Orleans. Several contributors once inhabited ramshackle houses in the now-devastated Ninth Ward and write about their experiences there. Their self-conscious reflections on the gentrification in which they were complicit, low-wage lifestyles notwithstanding, are peculiarly poignant now that the point is moot. Other pages bear stories of roving packs of wild dogs, of bicycle delivery in the French Quarter, of deserted battleships and wharf warehouses, of racial tension and stifling heat. It all feels intensely precious, or as contributor Abram Himelstein suggests, like "an obituary to the best city I have ever known." Clark discusses and reads from the book at this event, the last in a nationwide tour. Tue 3/28, 8 PM, Quimby's, 1854 W. North, 773-342-0910.

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