From Silicon Valley, California to Louisiana, Lalita Tademy shares the journey of tracing her genealogy—the inspiration behind writing Cane River.

Walking Away from the American Dream
"I was born in Berkeley, California, in a place called Castro Valley. We were actually the first black family to move to Castro Valley. The town certainly wasn't welcoming. It was a very isolating, fairly lonely environment until I could go back into my parents' house where I was safe. The people in the town were just determined to show us how much they didn't want us there."

"My childhood had a great influence in making me very determined to be independent and listen to my own voice. And that really put me in very good stead when I started my corporate career. I had built up my career, and I had climbed the corporate ladder. After a couple of decades, I had worked myself up to being a Vice President and General Manager of a Fortune 500 Company in Silicon Valley."

"But when I walked away from [Corporate America], I think that everybody was surprised. And I know that my mother very specifically was disappointed because she was proud of the position that I had attained. If I had quit that job to go to another job, I think maybe she could have suspended disbelief for a minute. But as it was, she just shook her head. But I felt that I was supposed to be doing something else."


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