Thomas Zigal

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Thomas Zigal is an American writer.

Zigal was born in Galveston, Texas, grew up nearby, in Texas City. [1] He attended high school in Lafayette, Louisiana and lived in New Orleans for four years in the 1980s and ’90s. [2] As of 2014, he lived in Austin, Texas. [1]

Galveston, Texas City in Texas

Galveston is a coastal resort city and port off the southeast coast on Galveston Island and Pelican Island in the American State of Texas. The community of 209.3 square miles (542 km2), with an estimated population of 50,180 in 2015, is the county seat of surrounding Galveston County and second-largest municipality in the county. It is also within the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land metropolitan area at its southern end on the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Lafayette, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, located along the Vermilion River in the southwestern part of the state. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 127,657 according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates. It is the principal city of the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a 2015 estimated population of 490,488. The larger trade area or Combined Statistical Area of Lafayette-Opelousas-Morgan City CSA was 627,146 in 2015. Its nickname is The Hub City.

New Orleans Largest city in Louisiana

New Orleans is a consolidated city-parish located along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of the U.S. state of Louisiana. With an estimated population of 393,292 in 2017, it is the most populous city in Louisiana. A major port, New Orleans is considered an economic and commercial hub for the broader Gulf Coast region of the United States.

In 2014 Zigal won the Jesse Jones Award given by the Texas Institute of Letters in the fiction category for his 2013 novel, Many Rivers to Cross. [1] [3] Judges cited his "keen ear for the language of Hurricane Katrina victims, most of whom were African-Americans." [1] Zigal was a victim of Hurricane Carla, which destroyed the family home in Texas City when he was a child. [2]

The Texas Institute of Letters is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to stimulate interest in Texas letters and to recognize distinctive literary achievement. Induction into the TIL is based on literary achievement.

Hurricane Katrina Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in 2005

Hurricane Katrina was an extremely destructive and deadly Category 5 hurricane that made landfall on Florida and Louisiana, particularly the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas, in August 2005, causing catastrophic damage from central Florida to eastern Texas. Subsequent flooding, caused largely as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system known as levees around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives. The storm was the third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record to make landfall in the United States, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, Hurricane Camille in 1969, and Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Hurricane Carla Category 5 Atlantic hurricane in 1961

Hurricane Carla ranks as the most intense U.S. tropical cyclone landfall on the Hurricane Severity Index. The third named storm and first Category 5 hurricane of the 1961 Atlantic hurricane season, Carla developed from an area of squally weather in the southwestern Caribbean Sea on September 3. Initially a tropical depression, it strengthened slowly while heading northwestward, and by September 5, the system was upgraded to Tropical Storm Carla. About 24 hours later, Carla was upgraded to a hurricane. Shortly thereafter, the storm curved northward while approaching the Yucatán Channel. Late on September 7, Carla entered the Gulf of Mexico while passing just northeast of the Yucatán Peninsula. By early on the following day, the storm became a major hurricane after reaching Category 3 intensity. Resuming its northwestward course, Carla continued intensification and on September 11, it was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane. Later that day, Carla weakened slightly, but was still a large and intense hurricane when the storm made landfall near Port O'Connor, Texas. It weakened quickly inland and was reduced to a tropical storm on September 12. Heading generally northward, Carla transitioned into an extratropical cyclone on September 13, while centered over southern Oklahoma. Rapidly moving northeastward, Carla's remnants reached the Labrador Sea, Canada and dissipated on September 17, 1961.

“Many Rivers to Cross,” is the story of two grandfathers trying to find the grandchildren their common grandchildren in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. [2]

Zigal is the author of the Kurt Muller Mysteries, a series of crime novels set in Aspen, Colorado, and of a literary thriller,The White League. [4] [5] The White League is the first of his projected series of New Orleans novels. Many Rivers to Cross is the second novel in the series. [2]

Aspen, Colorado Town in Colorado, United States

Aspen is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Pitkin County, Colorado, United States. Its population was 6,658 at the 2010 United States Census. Aspen is in a remote area of the Rocky Mountains' Sawatch Range and Elk Mountains, along the Roaring Fork River at an elevation just below 8,000 feet (2,400 m) above sea level on the Western Slope, 11 miles (18 km) west of the Continental Divide.


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  1. 1 2 3 4 Waddington, Chris (7 April 2014). "Thomas Zigal wins top Texas book prize for Katrina-themed novel set in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune . Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Gross, Joe (28 September 2013). "Austin author Thomas Zigal pens a novel about the days after Hurricane Katrina". Austin American-Statesman.
  3. Galehouse, Maggie (13 April 2014). "Winners of Texas Institute of Letters competitions". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  4. "The White League". Kirkus. 1 February 2005. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  5. "The White League". Publisher's Weekly. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  6. Galehouse, Maggie (11 April 2014). "13 new books with a Lone Star flavor". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 21 October 2015.