Sarah M. Broom
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. 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.
Bearing Witness to Generations: Two Memoirs of Home and Family
Set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East, Sarah Broom's memoir, The Yellow House, is about the pull of home and family. In her book, Ladysitting, Lorene Cary journeys through stories of her time with her grandmother and five generations of their African American family. Join these two authors as they talk about bearing witness to generations.
Fran Jeffries is a writer and editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Yellow House
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. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. 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. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.