by Sarah M. Broom, 2019
The Yellow House was the 2019 National Book Award Winner for Nonfiction. A memoir about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath in New Orleans, Louisiana, and how, in particular, it affected the poor. The “yellow house” is the house the author grew up in, the damage it sustained, and how it anchors not only the family but the story itself. Raised in New Orleans East, a world away from the tourist traps and notoriety of the celebrated New Orleans nightlife, it was a place where tourist money didn’t flow and tax dollars didn’t get spent. This is the real story of how the poor struggled after Katrina and, in fact, how many still struggle to this day. This memoir held particular interest for me, because I’ve watched so much of the same bungling of billions of dollars of FEMA hurricane relief dollars go mismanaged and unspent in areas that were hardest hit after Hurricane Harvey, namely in Rockport and Houston, Texas.
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