Natalie Baszile - Queen Sugar

Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Please join Green Apple Books at St. James Episcopal Church on May 1st, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. as we welcome Natalie Baszile as she reads from her new novel Queen Sugar!
Inspired by debut author Natalie Baszile’s own life and family history, Queen Sugar is a mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana, and the new life and new family it brings together. Offering a rare glimpse into the little-known and complicated world of Louisiana sugarcane farming, Queen Sugar is a tale of southern wisdom, unexpected love, and second chances. 

Charley Bordelon is a recently widowed mother of an eleven-year-old girl struggling to get by in Los Angeles, when she finds out that her late father left her eight hundred acres of prime sugarcane land in Louisiana—with the stipulation that she must farm it or lose it. His reasons for doing this are mysterious, but Charley embraces it as an opportunity to begin a new life for her and her daughter on the gulf coast. But no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: cane farming is very much a white man’s business, and her grandmother, Miss Honey, is far thornier than she remembers. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and threatening brother, and the startling desires of her own heart. 

When author Natalie Baszile’s father left Louisiana as a teenager in 1954, he vowed never to return. Everything about the south—from the brutal segregation to the weeds pushing through cracks in the sidewalk—repulsed him. He trained his eye on California and never looked back. Years later, his Southern Californian daughter Natalie had a different view and found herself drawn to the warmth of her Louisiana relatives, intrigued by the cast of characters who lived in her grandmother’s tiny town, and the stories she’d heard about family secrets, rivalries, and feuds. As part of the research for this novel, Natalie spoke with her father extensively about her family history and made many trips back to the region—visiting with relatives, harvesting crawfish, Zydeco-dancing at the local watering hole, and of course, planting sugarcane.

Panoramic in its storytelling, rich in its offering of unforgettable characters, and intimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is a story of endurance and hope and one family flourishing against all odds.

Queen Sugar Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780670026135
Availability: Not Available to Order. Call or email for used stock availability.
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - February 6th, 2014

A mother-daughter story of reinvention about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana