Sarah M. Broom

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Sarah M. Broom
Broom stands behind a podium and speaks into the microphone. She wears a peach silk dress. She has brown skin and her hair is styled in a bun on top of her head.
Broom at the 2019 National Book Awards
Born (1979-12-31) December 31, 1979 (age 42)
Alma materUniversity of North Texas
University of California, Berkeley
Notable worksThe Yellow House (2019)
Notable awardsNational Book Award for Nonfiction (2019)
SpouseDee Rees

Sarah Monique Broom (born December 31, 1979)[1] is an American writer. Her first book, The Yellow House (2019), received the National Book Award for Nonfiction.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Broom was born on December 31, 1979[1] and raised in New Orleans, the youngest of twelve children. After attending Word of Faith Academy,[2] she studied anthropology and mass communications at the University of North Texas.[3] Broom also holds a master's degree in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley and has taught at the Columbia University School of the Arts.[4]


After publishing in a variety of journals, including the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, and O, the Oprah Magazine, she received a 2016 Creative Nonfiction Grant from the Whiting Foundation.[5] Broom has also been named a finalist for the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction and awarded fellowships at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the MacDowell Colony.[6]

The Yellow House[edit]

Broom's first book The Yellow House, was published by Grove Press on August 13, 2019,[7] following the publication of an early excerpt in the New Yorker in 2015.[8]

In advance of its publication, Broom's debut memoir, The Yellow House, received positive attention from a number of outlets. In a pre-publication review, Dwight Garner of The New York Times wrote, "This is a major book that I suspect will come to be considered among the essential memoirs of this vexing decade."[9] In The New York Times Book Review, Angela Flournoy called it “an instantly essential text.”[10] Speaking of Broom in advance of The Yellow House's publication, novelist and Believer magazine co-founder Heidi Julavits remarked, "I already consider her to be one of America's most important and influential writers."[7] The Star Tribune opined that Broom's book had “essentially told the story of black America in one fell swoop.”[11] Other publications to declare the book's importance included Publishers Weekly[12] and Kirkus Reviews.[13] Quoting the book itself, Kirkus Reviews opined that The Yellow House reflected the author's attempt "to reckon with 'the psychic cost of defining oneself by the place where you are from,'" adding that "Broom's lyrical style celebrates her family bonds, but a righteous fury runs throughout the narrative at New Orleans' injustices, from the foundation on up."[13] In advance of The Yellow House's publication, it had been listed as a notable book by The New York Times,[14] Entertainment Weekly,[15] Time,[16] and the Washington Post,[17] and further recommended by Ms.,[18] and author Lisa Taddeo,[19] among others.

Personal life[edit]

Broom lives in Harlem, New York with her wife Dee Rees.[20][21]




  1. ^ a b "Two books that remind us of the importance of memories". The News-Gazette. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  2. ^ a b "New Orleans author Sarah Broom wins National Book Award for memoir 'The Yellow House'". November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 23, 2019.
  3. ^ "Sarah M. Broom on Building Her Book Like a House". Literary Hub. 25 September 2019. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  4. ^ "Sarah M. Broom". Columbia - School of the Arts. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  5. ^ "Sarah M. Broom". Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  6. ^ "Sarah M. Broom". Grove Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  7. ^ a b The Yellow House | Grove Atlantic.
  8. ^ Broom, Sarah M. (2015-08-17). "The Fate of a Family Home After Katrina". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  9. ^ Garner, Dwight (2019-08-05). "'The Yellow House' Is a Major Memoir About a Large Family and Its Beloved Home". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  10. ^ Flournoy, Angela (2019-08-09). "After Hurricane Katrina, How Do You Return Home When Home No Longer Exists?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  11. ^ "Review: 'The Yellow House,' by Sarah Broom". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  12. ^ "Nonfiction Book Review: The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom". Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  13. ^ a b THE YELLOW HOUSE by Sarah M. Broom | Kirkus Reviews.
  14. ^ Khatib, Joumana (2019-07-31). "11 New Books to Watch For in August". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  15. ^ "Happy August! Here are this month's 20-must reads". Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  16. ^ "Here Are the 11 New Books You Should Read in August". Time. Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  17. ^ Patrick, Bethanne (2019-07-30). "The 10 Books to Read in August". Washington Post.
  18. ^ "August 2019 Reads for the Rest of Us – Ms. Magazine". Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  19. ^ "'Three Women' author Lisa Taddeo answers EW's burning questions". Retrieved 2019-08-01.
  20. ^ "Sarah M. Broom". Texas Book Festival. Retrieved 2019-11-23.
  21. ^ Wortham, Jenna (February 6, 2020). "Dee Rees and the Art of Surviving as a Black Female Director". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  22. ^ "The 2019 National Book Awards Finalists Announced". National Book Foundation. 2019-10-07. Retrieved 2019-10-09.

External links[edit]