It’s been almost four years since the cynical watchdogs known as the Nolafugees started lampooning everything governmentally sketchy or socially condemnable in post-Katrina New Orleans, and the hits keep coming. Their anthologies Soul is Bulletproof, Year Zero and Life in the Wake collect the blend of fiction and reportage from Nolafugees.com, and they’re taking a stab at a completely new but very New Orleans style of fiction/non-fiction titled The Parade Goes on Without You. Written by Andrea Boll, the book is a series of short vignettes and poems capturing the life and rollercoaster emotions of the second line community. Linear storylines are nowhere to be found, but Boll creates a recognizable universe populated by characters that seem like they’ve been your neighbors for years.
The book is explicitly dark, seedy and brutally real, something the minds in the Nolafugees think tank see as their calling card—always keeping it real. “We thought it was authentic, when there are a lot of things people are trying to pass off as authentic, locally,” says Jarret Lofstead, one of the editors behind the Nolafugees.
“The book deserved to be put out without tinkering, without how someone else wants the city portrayed,” he says. And this is exactly what they did. It’s as real as New Orleans gets: Interracial love, underage sex, dancing, rampant drinking, drugs, murder, suicide and hope and happiness.