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Red River


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Astonishingly powerful and compelling, RED RIVER is an extraordinary novel of true lives in the Deep South, which will break your heart, give you hope, and never let you go

About the Author

Lalita Tademy's first novel,CANE RIVER, was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her summer book pick, and became a New York Times" bestseller forseventeen weeks.She lives and writes in Menlo Park, California.


A successful black female executive, Tademy left corporate America to explore her family's roots. Cane River, the first novel to result from her genealogical research, was a 2001 Oprah's Book Club summer selection and a New York Times best seller. Here, the author tackles a different branch of the Tademy family tree, skillfully portraying the repercussions of what became known as the Colfax Riot. In 1873, during Reconstruction, black voters in Colfax, LA, many of whom were freed slaves, took up arms to install the legally elected white Republican Party sheriff, who was seen by angry whites as a hated carpetbagger. A violent standoff at the town courthouse resulted in great loss of life and ushered in a new era of intimidation and discrimination that many Southern blacks had hoped was ending with Reconstruction. This engrossing and eyeopening emotional family saga spans several generations while bringing an African American perspective to a very painful time in U.S. history. Strongly recommended for all fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/06.]-Laurie A. Cavanaugh, Brockton P.L., MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Four generations of African-American Southerners claw their way up from the ruins of Reconstruction in this engrossing family saga by the author of the bestselling Cane River. Tademy begins with a harrowing recreation of the notorious 1873 massacre at Colfax, La., where 150 blacks, gathered in defense of local Republican officials-and their own citizenship-were killed by white supremacists. Her narrative continues into the 1930s with a fictionalized chronicle of her forebears in the Tademy and Smith clans as they struggle against poverty, buy land and pursue their dream of starting a school for African-American children, their progress challenged by floods, hunting accidents and the Ku Klux Klan. It's an unabashed story of racial uplift (sample dialogue: "'We getting old, and it up to us to move the race forward'"), but there's plenty of drama and grit to keep it from becoming cloying. Through her characters, the author paints an indelible portrait of rural life under Jim Crow, built around backbreaking farm labor, blood ties that bind and chafe, and the omnipresent fear of a capricious white racism that can undo in a moment the work of a lifetime. Combining family anecdotes with historical research and a rich imagination, Tademy crafts another American epic. Photos. (Jan. 3) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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