Dec. 27 – Sarah Broom – The Yellow House [Advent Calendar]

The Englewood Review of Books
Best Books of 2019
Advent / Christmas Calendar
December 27


The Yellow House: A Memoir
Sarah Broom

Hardback: Grove Press, 2019
Buy Now:
[  Amazon ]  [ Kindle ] [ Audible ]

The Yellow House’s destruction, first by the flood and then by the city’s demolition of what remained, and the subsequent diaspora of her family, left Broom with an aching sense of absence. To confront this, she inserted herself more fully into the fabric of the book. As a teenager, she took two unreliable city buses from New Orleans East to the French Quarter to her job as a barista. As a successful adult, Broom returned to the city’s most historic district, a space that depends on the African American service workers who often cannot afford to live within its boundaries. Once behind the counter, Broom was now the local.

She sought to upend the conventional wisdom about this tourist-heavy area at the port of New Orleans, once a site of slave trading but now a fantasy that thrives on hedonistic behavior, southern charm, and decadence. “I’m always trying to make it about me in the French Quarter, about the interactions I’m having and how I’m seeing it specifically so I could turn these very trotted-out ideas on their head,” she told me. “If you’re trying to sort of examine the underbelly of something, you have to be able to move with the discovery and be malleable, so to speak.”

Living in the French Quarter placed Broom squarely in the city’s mythological and cultural heart. Moving from the periphery to the city center, Broom laid claim to a place that she was always made to feel was out of her reach. Too often geographic displacement narrows the comprehensive record of a place, privileging certain people with the final word on what is deemed history. Broom had to return to the city’s gem, home to its greatest pleasures and its greatest shame, to write a story that would reconcile her losses with the losses of others. She expanded the collective understanding of American history in the process.


WATCH a PBS interview with the author about this book…



<<<<<< PREVIOUS DAY’s Book


[ Return to the Advent Calendar ]


L10-Launch Promo Blog Phase 1 CTA 1

Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior

Enter your email below to sign up for our weekly newsletter & download your FREE copy of this ebook!
We respect your email privacy

In the News...
Christian Nationalism Understanding Christian Nationalism: Essential Books [A Reading Guide]
Most AnticipatedMost Anticipated Books of the Fall for Christian Readers!
Theology BooksTen Theology Books to Watch For – September 2022
B. EhrenreichJournalist Barbara Ehrenreich died earlier this month. Here's a few video clips that introduce her work
Funny Bible ReviewsHilarious One-Star Customer Reviews of Bibles