Monday, December 02, 2019

Seven New Orleans books that go beyond Mardi Gras

J.R. Ramakrishnan is a writer and editor.

Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Electric Literature, Harper's Bazaar, Harper's, amongst other publications. Her fiction has appeared in [PANK] and Mixed Company.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven books set in New Orleans that go beyond Mardi Gras, including:
The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom

In The Yellow House, Sarah M. Broom offers the story of her family’s home—and a view into a city that is rarely seen by outsiders. Her tour begins by swerving away from the usual New Orleans landmarks like the French Quarter (though she later returns to this with both the extra-piercing gaze of both a native and a returnee who’s lived around the world) via the Chef Menteur Highway to New Orleans East. Broom writes: “By bringing you to here, to the Yellow House, I have gone against my learnings. You know this house not all that comfortable for other people my mother was always saying.” As readers, we can count ourselves lucky she did—and did so with such exacting reporting on the histories of her family and city in especially elegant prose. The National Book Award judges agreed—Broom’s memoir made the organization’s 2019 nonfiction shortlist.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue