Sarah Broom earned rave reviews in 2019 with The Yellow House. It’s a memoir of one Black family’s experience in New Orleans East, built around the frame of a shotgun house that did not survive Katrina. It’s a dreamy sort of book, and by that I mean elusive. But the storytelling and the characters are engaging and give you a sense of New Orleans as place and symbol. And it makes it to #9 on our list of Best Reads of 2020.
An excerpt is below but you can read my full review here.
There is a dreamy quality to The Yellow House even though much of the dialogue is taken verbatim from Broom’s homemade recordings of conversations with relatives. The house is and isn’t. New Orleans is gritty realism and an illusion built for tourists. The past is long gone and ever present.