2019 National Book Award winner Sarah M. Broom to speak at Tulane

Sarah M. Broom, a New Orleans native and winner of the 2019 National Book Award, will speak Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Tulane University as part of the “American Water and Actual Air” speaker series, which focuses on interpreting the environment across academic disciplines.

Sponsored by the Tulane School of Liberal Arts’ Environmental Studies Program, the event will be in conversation format with Vann Newkirk II, a staff writer at The Atlantic. It will take place at 6 p.m. at Stone Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center on Tulane's uptown campus, beginning with a reception sponsored by the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. It is free and open to the public.

Broom is the author of “The Yellow House,” a memoir about her family’s history in New Orleans, which won the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction. She was awarded a Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant in 2016, and her other work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Oxford American, and O, The Oprah Magazine.

She will be a headliner at the inaugural New Orleans Book Festival at Tulane March 19-21 on the uptown campus. 

As a staff writer at The Atlantic, Newkirk covers politics and policy, with a frequent focus on civil rights and environmental justice. He is currently working on a book “on the fates of some of the oldest black communities in the United States in the paths of climate catastrophes.” Later this year, The Atlantic will release his long-form podcast documentary about Hurricane Katrina.

Andy Horowitz, assistant professor of history at Tulane and organizer of the speaker series, along with Thomas Beller, associate professor of English, said Tulane is privileged to have Broom and Newkirk appearing on campus.

"Sarah Broom’s “The Yellow House” already stands as one of the most important books about New Orleans, and readers have only just started to reckon with its insights and provocations,” he said. “Vann Newkirk, to my mind, is one of the best journalists working today: one of his many talents is his ability to show how broad structural forces are experienced at the individual level.”

For more information, contact Horowitz at ahorowitz@tulane.edu.