Monday, November 18, 2019 - 7:00pm
2521 Holman St.
Houston, TX 77004

This event will be presented off-site at Project Row Houses.

Brazos Bookstore in partnership with Project Row Houses presents: Sarah Broom - THE YELLOW HOUSE

Join us for an author event with Sarah Broom, including a reading, discussion, audience Q&A, and book signing. 

Doors open at 6:30pm | Event begins at 7:00pm

Sarah Broom will be in conversation with Emerson Zora Hamsa

ABOUT THE BOOK: In her dazzling debut, THE YELLOW HOUSE, Broom offers an intimate portrayal of New Orleans East—fifty times the size of the French Quarter, but historically ignored by travelogues, entangled in systems of race and class, and neglected long before Hurricane Katrina. 

THE YELLOW HOUSE is publishing the month of the fourteenth anniversary of Katrina, but it is much broader and vaster than a “Katrina book.” As the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant jury stated, Broom “leaves us with deep insight not just into her own family, her own community, but into governance, justice, and inequality in the round.” With her timeless narrative, Broom plumbs the depths of family ties and inheritance, home and homesickness, and absence and loss. 

Broom’s obsession with place begs an important question grounded in geography, belonging, and erasure: what does it mean—for a place, a people, a family—to be unmapped? She leaves readers to consider the answers as she guides them through a decades-ranging mosaic of heartbreak, survival, and transformation, ultimately telling us the story beneath the story we may have thought we knew about “The Big Easy.”

Broom drew from hours of family research and studies of primary sources to tell us the story of her family’s yellow camelback shotgun house, which bore witness to a fascinating personal history, innately Southern and American at once. At the same time that Broom recounts her family’s lore, she makes a compelling case that New Orleans East—home to NASA and the Space Race—is an essential locale in a new American mythology.

THE YELLOW HOUSE heralds the arrival of a breakout star—an author steeped in a rich literary tradition, yet with a voice uniquely her own. As Kiese Laymon enthuses, “Every few years, a book comes along that teaches readers of memoir how to read and writers of memoir how to write. Calling Sarah Broom's THE YELLOW HOUSE a memoir feels wrong. Somehow, Broom created a book that feels bigger, finer, more daring than the form itself.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah M. Broom has contributed to the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Oxford American, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others. She received her Master’s in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been awarded fellowships from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The MacDowell Colony. She lives in Harlem with her partner, filmmaker Dee Rees, and a tiny brown dog.

ABOUT THE CONVERSATION PARTNER:  Emerson Zora Hamsa is a lifelong reader her credits reading the works of Black women writers for repeatedly saving her life. Zora’s love of the Afro-American literary tradition, and a deep appreciation for its mystical underpinnings, led her to seminary in Washington, D.C., where she earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) and wrote a thesis titled “All We Have is Flesh: Womanist Spirituality and the Literary Imagination of Octavia Estelle Butler.” Currently, Zora is a doctoral researcher in the English Department at Rice University in Houston.

Zora’s research fields are 19th Century and 20th Century United States literature and African-American literature. She is at work on a dissertation project that explores memory, black mothering, spatial affect, and speculative plantation discourse in post-slavery American literature. Zora teaches a Fall 2019 undergraduate literature course at Rice University titled “Black Women and the Afterlives of Slavery: An Introduction to African-American Literature,” a course that provides an introduction to the Afro-American literary tradition through critical examination of narrative represetnations of gender(s), with specific attention to Black women and Black girls and their relationship to Black life in the wake of slavery. Check out Zora’s Instagram at @zorahzora and on Twitter at @zorafuture.


The Yellow House: A Memoir (2019 National Book Award Winner) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802125088
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - August 13th, 2019