About the book

“Hugged by Katrina” is a book based on the experiences of a group of Polish students who in 2005 faced the deadly threat of passing Hurricane Katrina over New Orleans. This hurricane was one of the largest natural disasters in the history of the United States, after which the city returned to normal life for many years.

“Hugged by Katrina” in May 2018 she was among the 30 bestsellers of the week at Empik in the non-fiction category. On the lubimyczytac.pl portal “Hugged by Katrina” receives a high rating of 8.2 / 10.

The idea to write a book appeared in Kuba Kucharski’s head a few years after the events related to the passage of Hurricane Katrina over New Orleans. In the first phase of work on the book, these were activities related to collecting material, but above all learning about the culture and history of New Orleans. According to Kucharski, these were key elements in its creation. The book’s unique value is the extensive epilogue created by the author, which introduces us to the history and processes of hurricane formation, history and culture of New Orleans, as well as the moment of rebuilding and securing the city just after the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Prizes and awards

– Third prize in the ‘Travel Book of the Year’ category at the MEDIATRAVEL festival of Civilization and Media Art in 2018

– “The best book of the year” in the non-fiction category in a competition organized by the industry portal www.granice.pl

– “The best book for summer 2018” in a competition organized by the portal www.granice.pl

They expressed their opinions about the book, including

Jarosław Kuźniar, Onet.pl journalist, owner of goforworld.com

“I often say that travel is not always a vacation. The world today is not easy and safe. You have to look after him and yourself. Finding himself in the heart of Hurricane Katrina made a trip to the author’s life a mere trip to the USA. He survived but different. He experienced the original behavior of people in extreme situations, felt fear. But he was carried away by this experience and described it a little therapeutically in the book. This is not a travel diary, but a strong life lesson. ”

Kamil Bednarek, Artist, Musician

“I am convinced that the story written by my friend will change more than one person’s perspective on the adventure that our life should be. For me it was an impulse to write the song “I’m taking you on a trip” to the album “Talizman”.

Book summary:

Jacob leaves for USA as part of a university student program Work & Travel. However, instead of New York that he had been dreaming about, he gets to New Orleans where he’s to take up work in Six Flags theme park. There are other program participants working there, including Poles. Gradually Jacob learns the light and dark sides of American dream, linked not only with work, but first of all with New Orleans itself: a city that he still can’t take to. He also meets a student from Poland, Sylwia, who makes a deep impression on him. But the beginning of their relationship doesn’t seem promising at all, and what’s more, another student from Poland falls in love with Sylvia…

The struggle with the New Orleans everyday life is disturbed by the news of a dangerous hurricane that is coming towards the city. The students, persuaded by neighbors, evacuate to the Superdome stadium. This decision turns out to be beneficial, because shortly afterwards the huge surge of water breaks the levees, and the downtown New Orleans gets completely flooded over. Now, along with several thousand of the poorest people, mostly Afro-Americans, they become the prisoners of the Superdome Stadium, which is cut off from the world.

The hurricane wears off, but only now all, both residents of New Orleans and the visitors, are in for the harshest trial. People gradually give in to the lowest instincts. Dantesque scenes occur, and the small Polish group begins its struggle for survival… In Poland the students are declared missing…


You can buy an autographed book in the online store: