Alice Wilson-Fried’s Debut Mystery Exposes Black Life in the Big Easy
Fictional New Orleans offers a colorful cast of characters ranging from vampires and voodoo queens to delicate belles who depend on the kindness of strangers. Now, a new voice in fiction is emerging from the Big Easy and it is one that has rarely been heard before: a black woman who grew up there.
Alice Wilson-Fried makes her debut as a novelist with Outside Child, a novel of murder and New Orleans. (Komenar Publishing – ISBN: 978-0-9772081-2-8, Hardcover)
Wilson-Fried grew up in the Magnolia Housing Project of New Orleans and she draws on that experience to give life to working-class black characters such as Big Dee, Preacher Man, Redboy, and Tick.
Outside Child revolves around the story of Ladonis Washington – who chose to leave the projects behind to earn an MBA – and her brother Heart Trouble – a small-time con artist whose rap sheets fill a whole file cabinet at the Criminal Courts building.
To Ladonis, success means discarding her past and climbing to the top of the corporate ladder via her hard-won position as the only black professional at the Floating Palace Steamboat Company. But after her mentor, Tim Ganen, dies a grisly death in the paddlewheel of the company’s prize steamboat, Ladonis is caught in the churning of family relationships, her own ambitions, and the depths of corporate corruption.
Lucky for her, Heart Trouble understands the underbelly of New Orleans business. But he doesn’t understand his sister’s drive. So it’s up to Ladonis to meet her bosses’ demands and find out the truth about what happened to Tim – without getting herself or Heart Trouble killed.
Unlike other tales set in the moss-draped past of the Big Easy, Outside Child shows the modern reality of the city in its pre-Katrina years. The book is the first in a trilogy, and the next installments will follow Ladonis’ story during Katrina, and finally through the devastation which followed it.
Contact: Mary Claire Blakeman