Village de L'Est and Hurricane Katrina: Background information when reading Things We Lost to the Water

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Things We Lost to the Water

by Eric Nguyen

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen X
Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen
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  • Published:
    May 2021, 304 pages

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Lisa Butts
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About this Book

Village de L'Est and Hurricane Katrina

This article relates to Things We Lost to the Water

Residents return to Versailles after Hurricane Katrina in A Village Called Versailles When the Vietnamese family depicted in Things We Lost to the Water arrives in New Orleans, they move into an apartment building called Versailles located in the eastern part of the city. The setting is based on the real-life Versailles Arms public housing project in the neighborhood of Village de L'Est, which attracted a large Vietnamese population beginning in 1975 after the fall of Saigon. Many residents were brought to the region via refugee programs run by Catholic charity organizations. The neighborhood's Mary Queen of Vietnam Church, opened in 1985, is the largest Vietnamese American Catholic church in the United States. (A fictionalized version called Our Lady of Saigon appears in the novel.) In research conducted prior to Hurricane Katrina, 80 percent of the Vietnamese population in Village de L'Est identified as Catholic.

When Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, flooding Village de L'Est, Mary Queen of Vietnam played a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and ...

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