The Yellow House - Sarah Broom
Say the words “New Orleans” to people and images of Mardi Gras, beignets, jazz, voodoo, second lines, eclectic art and Saints football immediately spring to mind. It is a city that is visited by millions of tourists a year and has been the musical and literary muse for countless artists and writers. Past the hustle and bustle of Jackson Square and the Cathedral in the famous French Quarter, heading out East on I-10, is a part of New Orleans that doesn’t make the travel brochures and tour bus stops. There are no great literary works to browse on the shelves in bookstores telling the stories about the area and the people that call New Orleans East home. Until now.
Part history lesson, part memoir, 100 percent unforgettable, The Yellow House is a look at the lives of Sarah Broom’s family members as well as a powerful call out of a city, state and government plagued with corruption and systemic racism. It is a story about home, identity, and family - filled with writing that alternates from a sharp, seasoned reporter to that of a woman running – seeking answers from the offices of Oprah Magazine in New York City to the mountains of Burundi after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina - attempting to place “what happened in New Orleans in a more global context to understand how loss, danger, and forced migration play out in other parts of the world.” Throughout her book, Broom has expertly managed to walk the line between investigative journalist and displaced daughter and what she has given us within the pages of her story fills a void in Southern literature that has been sorely lacking in contemporary voice. •
Huge thank you to Octavia Books, who had early stock of this mighty work and were kind enough to ship it out to me last week. I am still attempting to gather my thoughts to write an adequate, comprehensive review (there is so much more to unpack and cover - I went through two pads of book tabs). The Yellow House is out now and I wanted to be sure that it was on your radar. ALL. THE. STARS.