Set among the plantations in deepest Louisiana, Cane River follows the lives of five generations of women from the time of slavery in the early 1800s, through the Civil War and into the early years of the 20th century. From downtrodden, philosophical Suzette, who was born and died as a slave, to educated, pale-skinned Emily, whose high ambitions ...
Set among the plantations in deepest Louisiana, Cane River follows the lives of five generations of women from the time of slavery in the early 1800s, through the Civil War and into the early years of the 20th century. From downtrodden, philosophical Suzette, who was born and died as a slave, to educated, pale-skinned Emily, whose high ambitions born in freedom become her downfall, we are introduced to a remarkable cast of charactes whose struggles reflect the tragedy of slavery, the determination to overcome, and, ultimately, the triumph of the spirit. This deeply personal saga - based entirely on the author's research into her own family history - ranks with the best African-American novels and introduces a major new writer.
Fine. Almost in new condition. Book shows only very slight signs of use. Cover and binding are undamaged and pages show minimal use. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Green Earth Books is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Very good. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Green Earth Books is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Very good. No dust jacket. Tight binding with clean text. Very good. Cover has wear along edges and some spots. Pages are yellowing. There is a piece of fep torn out. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 432 p. Contains: Illustrations. Oprah's Book Club. Audience: General/trade.
This is one of the best books I ever read in my life, and I am a historian. I put this on a very similar level with Gone With The Wind, alhough they are not alike in story sense. I opened the first page, and never quit reading for two days solid. The cover did not particularly attract me to this book, until the author said the woman under the tree was her G G grandmother Emily. By the time the book ends, I just kept re-reading and looking back at pictures, not wanting the last page to be the end. I have recommended it to every one I know. And, I agree, this book should be mandatory reading in all high school history classes. I am a teacer, and white by the way.
Jan 14, 2010
As a white woman, with black friends, I found this book by a black woman fascinating, well-written and delightful to read. I appreciated the photos that were in the book of the family members that she wrote about, and it gave some new insight and understanding of the slave experience here in American. The book was heart-rending and yet joyful.
May 28, 2009
I could not put the book down, the characters came to life.
Oct 30, 2008
the historical novel you've never read
Following an African-American multigenerational family as they care for their families within the struggles of slavery, the reader is witness to beautiful description and character strength. At a time when birthing a child your own does not guarantee she will be able to live with you (she is the master's property like the rest of your family after all), "Cane River" characters do what they can to make life better for their families. Elizabeth, Suzette, and Philomene will live on in the reader's memory long after the book is closed.
Apr 16, 2007
A Family history
I thoroughly enjoyed Cane River. It is a fast paced narrative that has excellent character development. I really thought that the author did an excellent job of getting into the hearts and minds of her characters and communticating that to the reader. This is just a wonderful story of a family that overcomes much adversity and comes out stronger.
Publishers Weekly, 2001-08-06 Like the river of its title, Tademy's saga of strong-willed black women flows from one generation to the next, from slavery to freedom. Elisabeth is a slave on a Creole plantation, as is her daughter, Suzette. The family, based on Tademy's own ancestors, wins freedom after the Civil War, but Suzette's daughter, Philomene, must struggle to keep her family together and to achieve financial independence. The melodious, expressive voices of narrators Belafonte and Payton are a pleasure to listen to, while Moore's tougher, grittier tone conveys the hardships faced by the family. However, Belafonte and Payton sometimes ignore vocal directions provided by the novel. For example, Payton reads one passage in a whisper even though the text says "in her excitement, Philomene's voice rose... louder and louder." The complex, multigenerational tale suffers somewhat in abridgment: at times the narrative too abruptly jumps ahead by decades and some emotional situations are given short shrift, as when Philomene discovers that her daughter Bette, whom she was told died as a baby nearly 20 years earlier, is actually alive and living nearby. Still, the audio succeeds in evoking the struggles of black women to provide better lives for their children despite all odds. Simultaneous release with the Warner hardcover (Forecasts, Mar. 12). (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2001-03-12 Five generations and a hundred years in the life of a matriarchal black Louisiana family are encapsulated in this ambitious debut novel that is based in part upon the lives, as preserved in both historical record and oral tradition, of the author's ancestors. In 1834, nine-year-old Suzette, the "cocoa-colored" house servant of a Creole planter family, has aspirations to read, to live always in a "big house" and maybe even to marry into the relatively privileged world of the gens de couleur libre. Her plans are dashed, however, when at age 13 a French migr takes her as his mistress. Her "high yellow" daughter Philomene, in turn, is maneuvered into becoming the mother of Creole planter Narcisse Fredieu's "side family." After the Civil War, Philomene pins her hopes for a better future on her light-skinned daughter, Emily Fredieu, who is given a year of convent schooling in New Orleans. But Emily must struggle constantly to protect her children by her father's French cousin from terrorist "Night Riders" and racist laws. Tademy is candid about her ancestors' temptations to "pass," as their complexions lighten from the color of "coffee, to cocoa, to cream to milk, to lily." 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, and she demonstrates that although the practice of slavery fell most harshly upon blacks, and especially women, it also constricted the lives and choices of white men. Photos of and documents relating to Tademy's ancestors add authenticity to a fascinating story. (Apr.) Forecasts: The success in recent years of similarly conceived nonfiction, like Edward Ball's Slaves in the Family, proves readers can't get enough of racially themed family history. Tademy, who left a high-level corporate job to research her family's story, should draw larger-than-average audiences for readings in 11 cities. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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