Lalita Tademy is the New York Times Bestselling author of three historical novels. Her debut, Cane River, was Oprah's summer Book Pick in 2001, translated into 11 languages, and became San Francisco's One City, One Book in 2007. Stanford University selected Cane River as assigned reading for all incoming freshmen in 2015. Her second novel, Red River, was released to critical acclaim in 2007. Her third novel, Citizens Creek, was published in November 2014.
Before writing full-time, Lalita was Vice President and General Manager of several high technology companies in Silicon Valley, spending over a decade running business units within large corporations. But her own interest, led her to focus all of her energies on her second career writing. She has been featured in People Magazine, O Magazine, More Magazine, Good Housekeeping, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, and the Oprah Winfrey Show, and has appeared as a speaker for the Library of Congress and National Book Festival, the California Governor's Conference for Women, African American Librarians Black Caucus, Louisiana Library Association, Professional Businesswomen of California, National Association of Principals for Girls, and as a San Francisco Library Laureate.
Born in Berkeley, California, far from her parents' southern roots, both her mother and father 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. Some version of those tales seem to steal their way into whatever she writes.
Lalita lives in northern California with her husband, Barry Williams.
Lalita Tademy's website
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Lalita Tademy Chats with BookBrowse about Her Latest Book, Red River
Red River ends in 1937. I'm very interested to know what
happened to your family since then - I know that you were brought up in
California, what caused your parents to move from Louisiana to California? Do
most of the remainder of your family still live in Louisiana?
Lalita: My parents moved from Louisiana to San Francisco in the early 1940s, where there was a greater range of work opportunities available for a black man. My father, who never enjoyed teaching in Louisiana, came out alone first, worked in odd jobs in the construction trade created by World War II, and then sent for my mother and my two older sisters a few months later after he had a foothold. One by one, his brothers moved their families out to California as well, although none of the sisters relocated out West. Today, there are pockets of Tademys in both Louisiana and California, as well as most other parts of the country.
The family tree in Red River is fascinating, but because it only shows the birth dates of your grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great grandparents, it's difficult to know which you might have known first hand?
Lalita: My paternal...
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