Tademy Photo Credit: Copyright © InMenlo LLC, 2010. All Rights Reserved
A former vice-president at Sun Microsystems, Lalita Tademy
the corporate world to immerse herself in tracing her family's past and in
Lalita Tademy was born in Berkeley, California, far from her parents’ southern roots. Nonetheless, her parents made sure their household (Louisiana West) maintained a definite non-California edge, including a steady supply of grits, gumbo, cornbread, and collard greens, and a stream of other transplanted southerners eager to share their “back-home” stories.
Click to order via Amazon
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 3, 2008)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Cane River comes the paperback debut of an epic work of fiction that tells the dramatic, intertwining story of two families and their struggles to make a place for themselves in a country deeply divided in the aftermath of the Civil War.
When Cane River was published in 2001, Lalita Tademy established herself as the chronicler of her own family's life, since their arrival here as slaves in the 1800s. Mixing family history, fiction, and fact made the story rich and unforgettable enough that Cane River became an Oprah's Book Club®. Now, with Red River, Tademy has done it again. Writing is a second career for Tademy, who is a former vice-president of Sun Microsystems. She left the corporate world to immerse herself in her family's history--and the history of the south.
In 1873 in the small southern town of Colfax, Louisiana, history tells us there was a riot. The Tademy family knows different. "1873. Wasn't no riot like they say. It was a massacre..." The blacks are newly free, just beginning life under Reconstruction, with all its promises of equity, the right to vote, to own property and, most importantly, to decide their own future as individuals. Federal Government troops are supposed to arrive to protect the rights of the colored people--but they are not yet on the scene.
In one wretched day, white supremacists destroy all the optimism and bright promise by taking Colfax back in an ugly and violent manner. The tragedy begins with the two sides: the white Democrats of Montgomery and the colored and white Republicans of Colfax in the courthouse, finally meeting face to face to discuss their differences. Then, a group of white thugs kills a colored man who was not involved in the courthouse struggle. He was home minding his business and the ugliness came and found him.
The confrontation that follows results in the death of more than 100 black men, killed by white supremacists bent on denying them their voting rights and keeping in office those who uphold the status quo prior to the Civil War. The massacre is only the beginning of Tademy's story. Using reliable sources wherever they may be found, she tells the hard and proud story of Sam Tademy, Israel Smith and their families as they fight their way back from the massacre. They get a foothold in Colfax, finally starting a school, owning land and businesses and becoming full-fledged citizens, as they were meant to be.
Tademy tells part of our history that we would like to forget; she also tells the story of her family, which is a story worth remembering. --Valerie Ryan (Amazon.com Review)
River (Oprah's Book Club Selection)
Click to order via Amazon
Mass Market Paperback: 543 pages
Publisher: Warner Books (February 1, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.5 x 6.9 inches
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.
Lalita Tademy was a successful corporate vice president at a Fortune 500 company when she decided to embark upon what would become an obsessive odyssey to uncover her familys past. Through exhaustive research, interviews, and the help of professional genealogists, she would find herself transported back to the early 1800s, to an isolated, close-knit rural community on Louisianas Cane River. Here, Tademy takes historical fact and mingles it with fiction to weave a vivid and dramatic account of what life was like for the four remarkable women who came before her. Beginning with Tademys great-great-great-great grandmother Elisabeth, this is a family saga that sweeps from the early days of slavery through the Civil War into a pre-Civil Rights Southa unique and moving slice of Americas past that will resonate with readers for generations to come. Well-researched and powerfully written, Cane River is just the kind of family portrait that will appeal to the same diverse audience as Alex Haleys bestselling phenomenon Roots (Dell Books, reissue 1980) and the New York Times bestseller Sally Hemings (Buccaneer Books, 1992), which sold over one million hardcover copies and inspired the feature film Jefferson in Paris, starring Nick Nolte and Thandie Newton.