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.