Chicken Gumbo for the New Orleans Soul
by Yvonne Spear Perret 141 pages Pelican Publishing Review by Fritz Esker
Yat Wit: Chicken Gumbo for the New Orleans Soul is a collection of humorous essays about various aspects of New Orleans life. New Orleans is the only common theme and each essay is self-contained.
Like all collections of stories/ essays, Yat Wit is hit or miss. Some of the stories are funny, others miss the mark. At their best, they capture minutiae of New Orleans life (like essays on Mardi Gras etiquette or how couples decide who gets the 3rd beignet on a plate) or capture the befuddlement some outsiders approach New Orleans culture (one where the author observes an outof-towner stubbornly trying to eat the local shellfish without assistance from natives is probably the funniest). Others (like one written from the perspective of a nutria colony) start with a gimmick that grows thin quickly.
But, the collection format makes it easy to skip around to the chapters the readers are interested in. Yat Wit isn’t a must read, but at least some of it is likely to make locals smile.