Debut Novel Outside Child Depicts Life in the Crescent City from the Projects to the Docks of the “Floating Palace” Steamboat
Alice Wilson-Fried, who grew up in New Orleans' Magnolia Housing Project, will return to her hometown for speaking engagements at both Dillard and Tulane, as well as at the main branch of the city’s public library on February 26-27-28.
Wilson-Fried, who currently lives in California, will be reading from and signing her debut novel Outside Child: a novel of murder and New Orleans.
Ladonis Washington, the main character in Outside Child, also spent her childhood in the New Orleans projects, but she went on to earn an MBA in an effort to leave that life behind. Ladonis has ambitions to climb the corporate ladder at the "Floating Palace Steamboat Company," a fictional organization loosely based on the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. But Ladonis'ambitions are short-circuited when her mentor, Tim Gannen, dies a grisly death in the company's prize paddlewheel boat.
Even though she hates to do it, Ladonis must get help from her brother, Heart Trouble, a small-time con artist who has always butted heads with her. Ladonis and Heart Trouble have to work together to find out the truth about Tim's death – and to keep from getting themselves killed. Although the plot revolves around Ladonis and Heart Trouble, Outside Child also brings to life working-class black characters such as Big Dee, Preacher Man, Redboy, and Tick – and it paints a picture of life in New Orleans as few people have ever seen it.
On February 26 at noon, Wilson-Fried will speak at the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Ave. in the third floor Auditorium. (For information, call 504-596-2597)
On the evening of February 27, Wilson-Fried will be part of a panel of New Orleans speakers at Dillard that include Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, poet and author of Red Beans & Ricely Yours; Dedra Johnson, author of Sandrine’s Letter to Tomorrow (which the Times-Picayune listed as one of the best debut novels of 2007); and New Orleans poet Valentine Pierce, author of Geometry of the Heart. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., takes place in the Stern Hall Amphitheater. (For further information, call 504-816-4450.)
Then on February 28, she will speak at noon at the student union at Tulane in an event co-sponsored by the Lavin-Bernick Center and the African-American Congress of Tulane. (For further information contact Tonya Baker 504-865-5190.)
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Contact: Mary Claire Blakeman