Born on the Bayou : A Memoir
Overview - In the tradition of the modern classics The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer and The Liars' Club by Mary Karr, Blaine Lourd's meaningful debut Born on the Bayou is a powerful gothic memoir set in the bayous and oil towns of 1970s Louisiana. Read more...
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More About Born on the Bayou by Blaine Lourd
In the tradition of the modern classics The Tender Bar
by J.R. Moehringer and The Liars' Club
by Mary Karr, Blaine Lourd's meaningful debut Born on the Bayou
is a powerful gothic memoir set in the bayous and oil towns of 1970s Louisiana.
In honest, confessional prose, Born on the Bayou
--a rollercoaster rags-to-riches story--transports us to a pocket of the South where Lourd learns how to be a man from the two people he looks up to the most: his larger-than-life father, "Puffer," a prominent figure in the oil business, and his successful older brother, Bryan. With an eye turned perpetually toward the gruff and distant Puffer, Lourd illustrates how those closest to us can cause the most hurt, even as we seek their approval.
Whether he's learning how to skin a duck at age ten, enjoying his first beer at thirteen, or detailing the finer points of ride-on lawn mowing, Lourd gets to the heart of being a Southerner with rawness and grace. From his early childhood through his eventual pilgrimage to the West Coast, he beautifully details what it means to have tangible roots to a place so ingrained it is a part of your own being.
From barreling down the low country roads in a shiny Thunderbird to chasing women and learning to be a gentleman, Born on the Bayou
is one man's struggle against the forces of family love, loyalty and obligation, and the ties that keep us tethered to our roots no matter how far we run.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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First-time author Lourd, a Beverly Hills businessman, declares that his early life in New Iberia in the lowest part of Louisiana—“the heart of Cajun country”—is never far from his mind in this sensitive and funny memoir. Lourd’s story is dominated by the imposing figure of his father, Harvey “Puffer” Lourd, a truck driver who rode the oil boom of the 1970s in the South and made his family part of what Lourd calls “the idle middle-class-elite”—yearly new cars and country club memberships—until the oil price collapse of 1981 “devastated the South.” During his heyday, Puffer introduced his son to the deep roots of Cajun country life, which Lourd captures in detail: duck hunting, beer drinking, girl chasing, and a bittersweet adventure to Mexico. Though his father becomes a sad figure after the oil bust, Lourd effectively recalls the halcyon days of a man who proudly defined himself as a “coonass”—here used as an endearing term for a certain type of Cajun. Rich or poor, white-collar or blue-collar, “he’s generally unpretentious and comfortable with himself, listens to his gut, has horse sense, and, yes, tends to be indulgent.” Agent: Richard Morris, Janklow & Nesbit. (Aug.)