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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 into the early years of the 20th century. From down-trodden, philosophical Suzette, who was born and died a slave, to educated, pale-skinned Emily, whose high ambitions born in freedom become her downfall, we are introduced to a remarkable cast of characters whose struggles reflect the tragedy of slavery 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 vels and introduces a major new writer.
Lalita Tademy gave up her high-flying career as a vice-president for a Fortune 500 technology company in Silicon Valley in order to research her family's history. After discovering her great-great-great-grandmother's original Bill of Sale, she decided she had to write this book.