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New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy uses photo juxtaposition to portray New Orleans culture--its contrasts, dichotomies, and social ironies, the things that make the city so richly diverse and distinctive--as seen through the lens of photojournalist Cheryl Gerber.
The book opens with Gerber's shots of her hometown's local color, showing how everyday New Orleanians live and how they celebrate life through Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, second lines, and more. The images then take a more serious turn as they depict the inequalities that sometimes make living in New Orleans so difficult. The book closes with photos depicting the way New Orleanians observe, mourn, and celebrate death.