Ken Wells / journalist / novelist / storyteller










'Ken Wells is the Cajun Carl Hiaasen'--Tom Wolfe


Up next from Ken: A tasty look at the cultural and social history of gumbo narrated by Wells as a pilgrim traveling Louisiana's Gumbo Belt and as a memoirist rummaging through the scenes of his Gumbo Life of yore. See more details below...


Novels, narrative non-fiction and anthologies




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 *Coming Feb.12, 2019 from Ken and W.W. Norton & Co. publishers of New York ...

Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou

     A sprightly, deeply personal narrative about how gumbo—for most of its history a Cajun and Creole secret—has become among the world’s most famous soups.


Ken Wells grew up in the Cajun ramparts of Bayou Black, eating his French-speaking momma’s gumbo and living what he calls the Gumbo Life—a time when the rhythms of the day clung to rituals of a previous century and gumbo began with a chicken chased down in the yard. He later would roam the world as a journalist but never forgot his roots. In Gumbo Life, Wells returns, taking readers on a lively tour that includes visits to a coot-cooking gumbo fest, a factory producing gumbo in insane quantities, and an iconic restaurant where high-style Creole cooking and re-energized Cajun cuisine merged to change the culinary landscape. Along the way, Wells answers other burning questions—like how gumbo got to China and who won New York City’s Gumbo War. Lively travelogue and moving memoir, Gumbo Life is a celebration--of a place, a dish and the cultures that created it.

*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...