On Sale: August 18, 2015
Hardcover / e-Book
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In the tradition of the modern classics The Tender Bar by
J.R. Moehringer and The Liars’ Club by Mary Karr, Blaine
Lourd’s Born on the Bayou is a powerful gothic memoir set in
the bayous and oil towns of 1970s Louisiana.
Coonass: [koon-as] (noun, slang, from the French conasse) A
term of endearment and an expression of cultural and ethnic
So echoes this all-important definition throughout this
good-humored memoir of growing up in the South. A
rollercoaster rags-to-riches story, Blaine Lourd’s
meaningful debut is both a nostalgic send-up of ’60s and
’70s Louisiana, and a heartfelt portrait of one family’s
coming of age.
In honest, confessional prose, Born on the Bayou 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 (coonass translation: awl bidness), 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. As
the saying goes, “a coonass always goes his own way.”
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