"By the time I got to writing on my episode, these characters were all living beings. In the writers room, we were all talking about them as living beings. They'd all taken on a life. Plus the actors, at the point, are all very familiar to you. It was very satisfying to be able to write for actors whose work at that point I knew fairly well."
The first work of Tom's I read was "Why New Orleans Matters," a book long response to the question as dramatized by the British journalist in Episode 1. It is a remarkable accomplishment of synthesis, in that it tells the history and analyzes the problems of New Orleans while describing the horror of the storm and its aftermath, while also giving us a peek inside Tom's personal experience and heart. Any fan of Treme outside of NOLA who hasn't read it mos def should.
Next, there's Tom's novel "City of Refuge" which follows the story of two families, one white, one black.
Here's a link to an essay by Tom and some musical recommendations.
Bloviate calls it a "worthy companion to all the thinking about life and culture that Treme is spurring us to do."
Here's the Christian Science Monitor
...and don't forget that Tom's own site is in the Lagniappe section of this blog.
So, if you haven't seen Faubourg Treme (Lolis Eric Elie's documentary), or read "Why New Orleans Matters" or "City of Refuge"
DO IT! Support NOLA artists!!