The Floating World is the story of the Boisdorés, a Creole family returning to New Orleans after having fled from Hurricane Katrina. We learn that the family’s unstable eldest daughter, Cora, had refused to evacuate, and her parents, preoccupied with the needs of their own senile father, were forced to leave without her. But when they return, they find Cora catatonic—the victim or perpetrator of some violence mysterious even to herself. As the family works to pick up the piece of their lives, Babst draws readers closer and closer to finding out what really happened in the eye of the storm. “This book is an achingly precise diagram of a city and family in heartbreak,” says Kaitlyn Greenidge. “Babst’s writing is fluid and insidious and hauntingly beautiful. The Boisdorés join some of the great families of American fiction.”
C. Morgan Babst evacuated New Orleans one day before Hurricane Katrina made landfall. After eleven years in New York, she now lives in New Orleans. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The Oxford American, Guernica, Harvard Review, and LitHub, and her piece, “Death Is a Way to Be,” was honored as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2016.
Lauren LeBlanc is an independent book editor based in Brooklyn. A New Orleans native, she worked in editorial at New Orleans’s The Times-Picayune, Alfred A. Knopf, and Atlas & Co. Among others, she writes criticism for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, and Bomb Magazine. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, Brooklyn Book Festival’s nonfiction committee, and PEN America’s membership committee. Follow her on Twitter @lequincampe.