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9780446615884

Cane River (Oprah's Book Club)

Tademy, Lalita Author

9780446615884: Cane River (Oprah's Book Club)

The "New York Times" bestseller and Oprah's Book Club Pick--the unique and deeply moving epic of four generations of African-American women based on one family's ancestral past.

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Lalita Tademy's riveting family saga chronicles four generations of women born into slavery along the Cane River in Louisiana. It is also a tale about the blurring of racial boundaries: great-grandmother Elisabeth notices an unmistakable "bleaching of the line" as first her daughter Suzette, then her granddaughter Philomene, and finally her great-granddaughter Emily choose (or are forcibly persuaded) to bear the illegitimate offspring of the area's white French planters. In many cases these children are loved by their fathers, and their paternity is widely acknowledged. However, neither state law nor local custom allows them to inherit wealth or property, a fact that gives Cane River much of its narrative drive.

The author makes it clear exactly where these prohibitions came from. Plantation society was rigidly hierarchical, after all, particularly on the heels of the Civil War and the economic hardships that came with Reconstruction. The only permissible path upward for hard-working, ambitious African Americans was indirect. A meteoric rise, or too obvious an appearance of prosperity, would be swiftly punished. To enable the slow but steady advance of their clan, the black women of Cane River plot, plead, deceive, and manipulate their way through history, extracting crucial gifts of money and property along the way. In the wake of a visit from the 1880 census taker, the aged Elisabeth reflects on how far they had come.

When the census taker looked at them, he saw colored first, asking questions like single or married, trying to introduce shame where there was none. He took what he saw and foolishly put those things down on a list for others to study. Could he even understand the pride in being able to say that Emily could read and write? They could ask whatever they wanted, but what he should have been marking in the book was family, and landholder, and educated, each generation gathering momentum, adding something special to the brew.
In her introduction, Tademy explains that as a young woman, she failed to appreciate the love and reverence with which her mother and her four uncles spoke of their lively Grandma 'Tite (short for "Mademoiselle Petite"). She resented her great-grandmother's skin-color biases, which were as much a part of Tademy's memory as were her great-grandmother's trademark dance moves. But the old stories haunted the author, and armed with a couple of pages of history compiled by a distant Louisiana cousin, she began to piece together a genealogy. The result? Tademy eventually left her position as vice president of a Fortune 500 company and set to work on Cane River, in which she has deftly and movingly reconstructed the world of her ancestors. --Regina Marler

About the Author:

Lalita Tademy lives in Menlo Park, California.

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Tademy, Lalita Author
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ISBN 10: 0446615889 ISBN 13: 9780446615884
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Book Description Warner Books. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0446615889 Through exhaustive research, interviews, and the help of professional geneologists, successful corporate vice president Latilda Tademy takes readers on a fictional journey through her family's history, creating a vivid account of what life was like for the four remarkable African-American women before her. Reprint. Bookseller Inventory # 4186998

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Book Description Walk Worthy Press, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 168 x 102 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The New York Times bestseller and Oprah s Book Club Pick--the unique and deeply moving epic of four generations of African-American women based on one family s ancestral past. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780446615884

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Book Description Warner Books, 2005. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The "New York Times" bestseller and Oprah's Book Club( Pick--the unique and deeply moving epic of four generations of African-American women based on one family's ancestral past. "Evocative and convincing."--"Washington Post Book Review.". Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0446615889

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Book Description Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. 104mm x 31mm x 174mm. Mass Market Paperback. The "New York Times" bestseller and Oprah's Book Club Pick?the unique and deeply moving epic of four generations of African-American women based on one fam.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 543 pages. 0.263. Bookseller Inventory # 9780446615884

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