Singing Out Loud

Singing Out Loud

Born during World War II, Marilee Eaves long struggled to fit into the New Orleans’ elite she was born to—secret Mardi Gras societies that ruled the city. While Marilee is a student at Wellesley, she’s hospitalized at McLean psychiatric hospital, where she begins to realize how much of herself she’s sacrificed to be fully accepted by the exclusive and exclusionary white Uptown New Orleans culture.

     In Singing Out Loud, Eaves shares her journey to stand on her own two feet―to find a way to be grounded and evolve in the midst of NOLA culture. Along the way, she wrestles with bipolar disorder, alcoholism, and the effects of her poor, heartbreaking, and sometimes hilarious choices.

     Raw and funny, this book offers hope and encouragement for those willing to be vulnerable, address their issues, and laugh at themselves in order to embrace who they truly are.

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Praise for Singing Out Loud

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of Mardi Gras―both literally and figuratively? Here’s the answer from a true New Orleans insider. Eaves’s lively account of how she survived carnival culture plus her own mental challenges makes for an entertaining and inspirational read.
–Cokie Roberts, author and journalist


Marilee Eaves hooks us from the very first paragraph in this captivating autobiographical tale of growing up in―and breaking with the tradition of―an old and privileged Louisiana family. Told to the reader as though we’re dear friends, sitting over tea . . . or cocktails . . . we are gifted with a series of colorful and vulnerable stories. If you’re interested in being entertained by a truly gifted writer, I recommend that you buy this book and get ready for a good read!
―Maria Nemeth, PhD, MCC, author of The Energy of Money and Mastering Life’s Energies


Marilee Eaves writes with grace, generosity and well-earned insight as she delves into the arcane customs of mid-century Uptown New Orleans carnival society. The heroine of this story finds her way from the smothering expectations, cloaked as privilege, of her time and her gender. Despite the painful detours, she eventually steps into the full light of her own powers with the surprising help of her boxing coach. By the end of the book, we are cheering for her victory.
―Constance Adler, author of My Bayou: New Orleans Through the Eyes of a Lover


A fascinating journey into an exotic world that, although glamorous and luxurious, exacts a high price from the narrator. Beginning with a close-up, Eaves expertly pulls back to reveal the insidious sexism and racism that affects and infects everyone, even the privileged. Her unique experience of overcoming a repressive upbringing and mental illness, rendered in vivid detail, becomes universal. I highly recommend that you take this wild ride!
―Jean Kilbourne, Senior Scholar, Wellesley Centers for Women