Thursday, March 04, 2021

Top ten books about roots

Nadia Owusu is a Ghanaian and Armenian-American writer and urbanist. She was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and raised in Italy, Ethiopia, England, Ghana, and Uganda. Her first book, Aftershocks, A Memoir, topped many most-anticipated lists, including The New York Times, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, and TIME.

At the Guardian she tagged ten of the "the best works that explore notions of home," including:
The Yellow House by Sarah M Broom

Broom’s debut is a rich family history that is also a study of her home town, New Orleans. “Much of what is great and praised about the city,” Broom writes, “comes at the expense of its native black people, who are … sometimes suffocated by the mythology that hides the city’s dysfunction and hopelessness.” At the heart of this book is the only kind of ancestral home Broom’s family can afford: a decaying yellow house in a long-neglected neighbourhood. While her mother fights to save the house, Broom attempts to escape it. But, when it is destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, Broom realises that the story of that house just might be her most precious possession.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Yellow House is among J.R. Ramakrishnan's seven New Orleans books that go beyond Mardi Gras and Lit Hub's ten best memoirs of the decade.

--Marshal Zeringue