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Fish Town: Down the Road to Louisiana's Vanishing Fishing Communities
by J.T. Blatty, with a concluding essay by Craig E. Colten

No book of this kind has ever been published about the more than 300-year presence of people living in coastal Louisiana.

Winner of a 2020 Bronze IPPY Award, South - Best Regional Non-Fiction

"Down the road" from New Orleans and other points north is a world unlike any other. Settled during the late 1600s by fisherfolk who came here from as far away as the Canary Islands, southeastern Louisiana has been a natural paradise for centuries. But with the channelization of waterways and the building of canals associated with the extraction and shipment of oil and natural gas––as well as the loss of protective wetlands to withstand hurricanes and a rising sea during the past century––the area's unique lands and way of life are threatened.

Fish Town preserves, through photography and oral history recordings, the cultural and environmental life of southeastern Louisiana's fishing communities. Because of the vanishing coastline, people who are multi-generations deep in their fishing traditions have watched their towns quietly slip toward extinction for decades, with few means of historic preservation. These are the same places that have not only made New Orleans an epicenter of fresh seafood dining, but have also traditionally served as getaways for New Orleanian families, providing them with an escape to nature where time is spent together sport fishing on the lakes and bayous and gathering around crab and crawfish boils. J. T. Blatty has been traveling "down the road" from her home in New Orleans since 2009 and has captured the people and these vanishing places as no one previously has.

Fish Town: Down the Road to Louisiana's Vanishing Fishing Communities includes 137 color photographs and an introduction by the author, recollections by longstanding members of the fishing communities, informative notes about each photograph, and a conclusion by Craig E. Colten, Carl O. Sauer Professor of Geography at Louisiana State University, who offers a compelling short history of the communities and Blatty's remarkable book.


$39.95 U.S. (trade discount) No e-book has been authorized.
200 pages with 137 color photographs by
the author, one black-and-white historic photograph, and one color map
8.0" x 10.0" (upright/portrait)
ISBN 978–1–938086–51–9

Published in September 2018

Distributed by University of Virginia Press cart
No e-book has been authorized.

About the Author

View a slide show of images on Zocalo

Listen to an interview on WWNO

Exhibitions and Book Events:
Tuesday, December 4 from 6-8pm
Book Signing
Octavia Books: 513 Octavia St, New Orleans, LA 70115

"Fish Town" is on view through October 13, 2018
Martine Chaisson Gallery, New Orleans
Read a review of the exhibit.

September 2018
Book Signing and Exhibition: Fish Town
Martine Chaisson Gallery, New Orleans, LA




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