The Ouachita Parish Public Library has selected Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile as its 15th River Reads: One Book, One Ouachita title. The community reading program will culminate with an author visit on April 23.
Set in contemporary Louisiana, Queen Sugar tells the story of African American single mother Charley Bordelon who leaves her home in Los Angeles after unexpectedly inheriting hundreds of acres of sugarcane land. As she struggles to prepare for grinding season, she must learn to balance new and old personal, romantic and professional relationships.
The Library will host 10 Queen Sugar-inspired programs throughout March, as well as a presentation led by the author during National Library Week in April. On April 23, Baszile will discuss and sign copies of her book at noon at the Ouachita Valley Branch Library and again at 6 p.m. at the Main Branch Library. Copies of the book will be available for sale.
The novel has been adapted for television by writer and director Ava DuVernay and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Books of 2014 and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. Her nonfiction work has appeared in Lenny Letter, The Bitter Southerner, O, The Oprah Magazine and many anthologies.
Baszile earned her M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers. Baszile is on MFA Faculty at Sierra Nevada College and lives in San Francisco and Oakland.