Sarah M. Broom - "The Yellow House" - Virtual Event

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Sarah M. Broom

Sarah M. Broom will discuss The Yellow House. She will be joined in conversation by Natasha Trethewey.

Presented in partnership with Chicago Humanities Festival

Virtual event

REGISTER HERE

About the book: In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant—the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s thirteenth and most unruly child. A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s 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. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the “Big Easy” of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.

About the author: Sarah M. Broom is a writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker; The New York Times Magazine; The Oxford American; and O, The Oprah Magazine among others. She is the author of the National Book Award-winning memoir The Yellow House. A native New Orleanian, she received her Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. She was awarded a Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant in 2016 and was a finalist for the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction in 2011. She has also been awarded fellowships at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The MacDowell Colony. She lives in New York State.

About the interlocutor: Natasha Trethewey is the author of Memorial Drive (2020); Monument (2018), which was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award; Thrall (2012); Native Guard (2007), winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Bellocq’s Ophelia (2002); and Domestic Work (2000). Trethewey is also the author of the poetry chapbook Congregation (2015) and the prose book Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2012). She is a former United States Poet Laureate and former State Poet Laureate of Mississippi. Among her many honors, Trethewey is the recipient of the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities category. At Northwestern University she is a Board of Trustees Professor of English in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

Event Location: 
Virtual