The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom

Staff Pick

The Yellow House (Grove, $26), by Sarah M. Broom, is an extraordinary memoir of family and place. Broom, the youngest of twelve children, recounts growing up in New Orleans in a shotgun house in the then promising neighborhood of New Orleans East. While some in her family succumbed to drug and alcohol abuse, coupled with extreme poverty, Sarah went to college and had a career that took her around the world. She always returned home, though. The ramshackle yellow house remained the family’s anchor. But after Hurricane Katrina lashed New Orleans, the house,
along with many others, was washed away in the floods. It survives in Broom’s telling—a symbol of a way of life in a particular time and place. In telling the story of her remarkable family, past and present, Broom captures a spirit that couldn’t be erased by Katrina.

The Yellow House: A Memoir (2019 National Book Award Winner) By Sarah M. Broom Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802125088
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - August 13th, 2019

What You Have Heard Is True by Carolyn Forché

Staff Pick

As a young poet translating work into Spanish, Carolyn Forché couldn’t always understand the conditions from which the Salvadoran poems she translated arose. That changed when human rights activist Leonel Gómez Vides “removed the blindfold, and ordered me to open my eyes.” He took her to hospitals lacking rudimentary supplies and dropped her off in remote mountain villages, where she slept on pallets in the huts of the campesinos, and washed with local women at a spigot of icy water. It was a world where Bible study was enough to get you killed, where villages were decimated, and their inhabitants brutalized in unthinkable ways. This searing and unforgettable memoir, What You Have Heard Is True (Penguin Press, $28), whose title comes from Forché’s frequently anthologized poem “The Colonel,” recounts her experiences as a poet and human rights activist, through the publication of her collection The Country Between Us and the assassination of Archbishop Monseñor Óscar Romero.

What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance By Carolyn Forché Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525560371
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Press - March 19th, 2019

Underland by Robert Macfarlane

Staff Pick

Robert Macfarlane’s Underland (W.W. Norton, $27.95) is profound in all senses of the word. In it he explores the “deep time” of caves, glaciers, and burial chambers as well as reflecting on the meaning of our most ancient myths and primal dreams. It’s no accident that the title rhymes with Wonderland: here are wonders galore, from the magnificent geological formations of limestone and karst to the earliest human art in Lascaux and Chauvet to the myriad surprises waiting in the Paris catacombs. Here also is the wonder of Macfarlane’s prose; rhythmic, dramatic, and fluent in the rich vocabulary of geology, glaciology, and their emotional analogs, Macfarlane is spellbinding as he describes the look, feel, and sound of extreme cold; the amazing variety of blues in a Greenland glacier; and the remarkable life cycle of stone, which, seen in deep time, “folds as strata, gouts as lava, floats as plates, shifts as shingles.” But if the underland is where we store “that which we love and wish to save,” it’s also where we hope to unburden ourselves of “that which we fear.” Macfarlane found as many nightmares as wonders in his travels, and the anthrax spores released by melting permafrost and tons of radioactive nuclear waste also threaten those of us who stay safely on the surface.

Underland: A Deep Time Journey By Robert Macfarlane Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393242140
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 4th, 2019