Ken Wells / journalist / novelist / storyteller











 Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou


     A tasty look at the cultural and social history of gumbo told through Wells' pilgrimage to Louisiana's Gumbo belt and the memories of his colorful, gumbo-filled bayou childhood.


      Ask any self-respecting Louisianan who makes the best gumbo and the answer is universal: “Momma.” The product of an unprecedented melting pot of culinary influences, these mommas are an eclectic group, for gumbo reflects the diversity of the people who cooked it up: French aristocrats, West Africans in bondage, Cajun refugees, German settlers, Native Americans—all had a hand in the pot. What is it about gumbo that continues to delight and nourish so many? And what explains its spread around the world? (continued)


   A great early review from Kirkus! Click here.

Coming Feb. 26, 2019 from Ken Wells & W.W. Norton...




Novels, narrative non-fiction and anthologies



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*News you can use: Ken's story on literally green buildings in the June 26 Wall Street Journal.


*Lovin' Louisiana!

Check out Ken's April 2017 US News & World Report essay on why Louisiana's bottom-ranking in the magazine's metrics beauty pageant just doesn't add up.


     *George Rodrigue and Swamp Dog #1


      *The Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayous, is available in an updated paperback edition from Yale University Press.



    * Rascal, a Dog and His Boy is now a terrific  audio book!



 *The Maine thing...


 Advance praise for Gumbo Life...


     "In this mouth-watering culinary a vivid account of Wells' languid bayou childhood and the history and personalities who seasoned it.  There could be no better guide to this unique American sub-culture than Bonnie’s boy from Bayou Black."--Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of March and People of the Book.


     "Like a dense, flavorful gumbo filled with tastes of the region, this is a book to savor." –Jessica Harris, author of “High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America.”


     “Ken Wells knows gumbo, and from whence it comes. And gumbo, and its sources, are profoundly tasty things to know.”  — Roy Blount Jr. , author and humorist.