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Queen Sugar: A Novel Audiobook, by Natalie Baszile Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Natalie Baszile Narrator: Miriam Hyman Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2014 ISBN: 9780698149403
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A mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart. Penguin has a rich tradition of publishing strong Southern debut fiction—from Sue Monk Kidd to Kathryn Stockett to Beth Hoffman. In Queen Sugar, we now have a debut from the African American point of view. Stirring in its storytelling of one woman against the odds and initimate in its exploration of the complexities of contemporary southern life, Queen Sugar is an unforgettable tale of endurance and hope. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “In Queen Sugar, two bulwarks of American literature—Southern fiction and the transformational journey—are given a fresh take by talented first-time novelist Natalie Baszile…[The novel] is a sensory experience, a tableau vivant that Baszile skillfully paints in a palette simultaneously subtle and bold. Queen Sugar is a bright and enticing reminder that, sometimes, you can go home.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “[A] exploration of family ties and disconnections.”


  • “Although the pace can be as slow as a humid bayou afternoon, the conflicts eventually ignite, leading to a cathartic close.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “In this tightly written first novel…the author blends the ups and downs of Charley’s emotional life with the uneven rhythms of farming over the course of a year to keep the plot moving and readers invested. This family drama featuring a woman facing adversity head-on and finding inner strength should resonate with fans of Ayana Mathis’ The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.”

    Library Journal

  • “Through tone and pacing, Hyman brings the characters to life--from the strong-willed Charley, who will do whatever it takes to have a successful harvest, to her equally strong-willed grandmother, who puts responsibility to family above all, and her bitter half-brother, whose attitude of victimhood almost destroys them all. The story’s pace is slow, but the patient listener hears a slice of a little known culture.”


  • Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • Winner of the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for College Writers

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  • 4.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 54.666666 out of 5 adm | 1/5/2017

    " Enjoyed the story line. Expect the experience to continue with the colorful characters of this book. "

About the Author

Natalie Baszile is the author of the nonfiction book We Are Each Other’s Harvest and the novel Queen Sugar, which was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2014, longlisted for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and adapted for television by writer and director Ava DuVernay, co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN. She has an MA degree in African American studies from the University of California at Los Angeles and earned an MFA at the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.

About the Narrator

Miriam Hyman is a Philadelphia native and graduate of Yale School of Drama. She is the 2011 Princess Grace recipient of the George C. Wolfe Award in Theater. She has worked with the Public Theater, the Guthrie Theater, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and the Freedom Theater. She has also made guest appearances on 20 Rock, The Wire, Law & Order, and Conviction.