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Extended Audio Sample Cane River, by Lalita Tademy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (20,561 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lalita Tademy Narrator: Edwina Moore, JoMarie Payton, Shari Belafonte Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Lalita Tademy was a successful vice president at Sun Microsystems when she began what became an obsessive two-year search to uncover the story of her family’s roots. It was a personal odyssey that took her back to the early 1800s and a small rural community on Louisiana’s Cane River. There, digging through official records, conducting interviews, and relying on the expertise of professional genealogists, Tademy was able to bring to vivid life four remarkable women—her great, great, great, great grandmother Elisabeth; her great, great, great grandmother Suzette; her great, great grandmother Philomene; and her great-grandmother Emily. Beginning in slavery, sweeping through the Civil War, and bringing us into the pre–Civil Rights South, we follow the struggles of these four women through extraordinary hardships as they learn to empower themselves, get their due, and preserve their heritage—despite overwhelming pressures.

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, this woman’s “Roots” presents a slice of American history never before seen in such piercing and personal detail.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A compelling story! A powerful book!”

    Billie Letts, American novelist and educator

  • “A long-overdue response to Alex Haley’s Roots…It is about…the quiet unmapped stories that make up history.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Rich with fascinating detail…powerful in its story-telling…a journey well worth taking.”

    San Jose Mercury News

  • “While she fully imagines their lives, she doesn’t pander to the reader by introducing melodrama or sex. Her frank observations about black racism add depth to the tale.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection in 2001
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Joanna | 2/17/2014

    " I really enjoyed most of this book. Honestly though, it started dragging for me and I started feeling like "C'mon already, move it along." I found the characters rich and full of life, but after a while it was hard to keep up with all of them. Maybe if I had one of the genealogy charts laid out in front of me each time I read it would have helped. I'm sure this book is very meaningful to many people. I also realized that maybe I should just fictionalize my family story and write that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marlaina | 2/7/2014

    " This was a well written historical fiction that shows about 4 generations of slaves growing up in LA. I found it extremely interesting and Im impressed at the time and effort she put in to make this book to come to life. I can relate to the characters; be warned, this is an oprah's book club. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Stacy | 2/7/2014

    " Liked the story, but faded out in the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Beth | 2/6/2014

    " Actually better than I expected. It got off to a slow start, but I very much enjoyed reading her take on her family's history. She actually did make them "come alive" for me. "

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