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The Yellow House

The Yellow House

Book - 2019
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"Sarah M. Broom's [memoir] The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother's struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, 2019.
Edition: First Grove Atlantic edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780802125088
0802125085
Call Number: B Broom, Sarah BRO
Characteristics: 376 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bib Control Number: 1027104

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From Library Staff

List - Mardi Gras
IndyPL_CarriG Feb 16, 2021

This National Book Award winning memoir tells of the struggle of irresistible pull of home towards a place that is no longer habitable, or safe. Broom gives 100 years of history of her family's home set amidst the backdrop of New Orleans.

A memoir about the author's family and their roots in the yellow house in a once prosperous ward of New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina might have erased the house from the map, but it could not destroy the sense of place and home that yellow house gave to the the Broom family.


From the critics


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r
rclane
May 04, 2021

The portions about Katrina and Burundi were enlightening and gripping (moreso the hazards, anxieties and outrages of Katrina (and aftermath) than the events in Burundi), the reminiscing about family members was difficult for me to enter perhaps because they are so personal to the author. That said, one does come to treasure the author's mother.

m
mclarjh
Mar 18, 2021

Ordinary journalistic writing; poor storytelling; tedious.

v
vickmeister
Feb 22, 2021

A layered, compelling memoir of a life spent both running from and towards what it is that makes family and the concept of home. Born the youngest child of 12 into a family of siblings born across decades, Sarah's childhood is built on the memories and mythologies of others in the crumbling yellow house that her mother was once so proud of. With her father dying as Sarah is born, the family does what they can to survive in the forgotten neighborhoods of East New Orleans. Sarah Broom paints a vivid picture of her world and how she took every opportunity to leave it, eventually traveling all over the world. Yet somehow it kept calling her back.

b
Bududo
Jan 31, 2021

This book is a set of reminiscences about place (New Orleans and particularly the Yellow House) and family (The extended Broom family) as written by Sarah the youngest of twelve siblings. By her writing, it is clear that she observes and notes with some poignancy the events from grand parents to her generation and comments on them with some introspection. The events span the changing of societal attitudes towards civil rights as well as the local politics of New Orleans both before and after Katrina. The author shares with her readers both the good and the bad that occur with a perspective that allows the reader to see and hear and experience lives growing up in an environment that I suspect will be unfamiliar for most people outside of New Orleans. I just wish that the publisher had taken the time to print better copies of the photos. It is good that she has taken the time to write and I look forward to her next book.

s
Sandra Konrad
Dec 21, 2020

I'm not going to finish this book, though I've tried. There is no character to follow in any meaningful way, the narrative is extremely jumpy, the recollection of utterances distracting. More than the photos, a family tree and map of New Orleans would have helped orient.

l
lilypad_1
Dec 18, 2020

Excellent writing but I couldn't have gotten through it except for some strange reasons I love New Orleans. It wasn't what I expected, was more about family ties and grieving. I thought it would be about the corruption and injustice in N.O. in the aftermath of Katrina. I remember watching Katrina for days on tv not even imagining how horrible it must have been to go through it.
Kind of hard to keep track of all the family once you get into cousins and nieces and nephews and half sisters and half brothers, big family.

mko123 Dec 15, 2020

A big, rambling family lived in this tinkered together but beloved Yellow House. The house was in the invisible section of greater New Orleans-part residential and part industrial. When Katrina came, the water washed away all vestiges of the house. The family scattered. But the yearning for their own piece of earth would draw them back. A daughter and brilliant author Sara Broom traveled the world but came back to piece together what happened to her home in this forgotten, marginalized part of the mythical New Orleans. This book is a eulogy to her family and the memory of her childhood home.

p
Pilimai
Oct 29, 2020

I loved this book. From the very beginning I did a family tree, so I could keep track of the many family members. With that, it was a snap!
The house was the nucleus of a wonderful story about family.

m
maggielo
Sep 03, 2020

NO woman w 12 children.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Aug 27, 2020

Having been asked to read,
drawn to the place, I need
to overcome a casualness on subject
familiar, avoid another experience abject.

Intimate narration won me over,
inconsistent, my mind only hover.
Families of Lolo to Mo, bloom,
struggling, Ivory Mae to all Broom.
Story of a house as home,
Spokesperson gifted and roam.
From Harlem to 4121 Wilson,
Creole living to land of African.
Survivors' dirge on Water,
Viva la vida French Quarter.
Personal stories expanded to some
grave topics, not a profound tome.

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