One of the many things lost in Hurricane Katrina was the home where Sarah M. Broom and her 11 siblings once lived with their parents, a widow and a father who died just months after Broom was born. In The Yellow House, a National Book Award finalist, Broom reflects on the history of the New Orleans East neighborhood and her family’s existence in it. “My beginning precedes me,” she writes, as she sets off to learn more about the place that created her. Yet as Broom searches through archives, she finds that few, if any, people have deeply studied the area where she comes from, despite its proximity to such a romanticized cultural center—so she takes it upon herself.
Buy now: The Yellow House