A fascination with her ancestry as the descendant of Creole slave women set Lalita Tademy on a journey to write the critically-acclaimed historical novel Cane River, which went on to become both a New York Times bestseller, and an Oprah Book Club Selection.
Her follow-up, Red River, based on real events during Reconstruction after the Civil War, also received its fair share of praise, and solidified Tademy’s role as a master of the genre, with USA Today saying that she “shows herself to be a skilled storyteller able to present the past with power and poignancy.”
Many have longed for her next book, and the wait is now over. In Citizens Creek, Lalita Tademy continues to shine a spotlight on important moments in American history, and the impact they have all Americans, of color and not.
Set against the backdrop of Alabama in 1822, Citizens Creek introduces readers to Tom, a young boy abandoned by his mother and sold to work on a plantation for a Creek Indian Chief. Nicknamed “Cow Tom,” by the Chief, for the special skill he has in caring for cattle (and as a way to distinguish him from another “Tom” on the plantation), he also speaks and understands multiple dialects, a valuable asset for Chief Yargee who relies on Tom as both translator and negotiator in business transactions.
The second half of Citizens Creek follows Cow Tom’s beloved first born granddaughter Rose, whom he nicknamed Little Warrior because she survives childbirth, while her twin, a much anticipated male child, does not. Rose is resented by her mother for this, and constantly demeaned and made to feel inferior. However, mirroring her grandfather in both looks and true grit, her grandparents teach her survival skills, and how to celebrate and appreciate who she is, and what she has to offer.
In Citizens Creek, Lalita Tademy masterfully weaves a generational tale of historical fiction inspired by a true story. Through Cow Tom and Rose’s eyes, Tademy shows the strength and determination of not allowing negative circumstances or influences to stand in the way of success, reminding readers that overcoming is always possible.
About the Author: Lalita Tademy is the author of Cane River, a New York Times bestselling novel and the 2001 Oprah Book Club Summer Selection, and its critically-acclaimed sequel Red River. She lives in Northern California.
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