In celebration of LSUP’s 80th anniversary the staff selected 80 of our most memorable titles. Adding to our “Around the Press in 80 Books” blog series, Financial Operations Manager Rebekah Brown writes about French, Cajun, Creole, Houma.
When your grandparents’ names are Pierre and Datille and you were born in southern Louisiana, there’s a good chance you have French-speaking relatives in your family. Such is the case for me. I grew up thinking everyone had a grandmother who easily spoke Cajun French and English in the same sentence. As it happens, my grandmother, who hails from the small Louisiana town of Basile, didn’t speak a word of English until her second-born son went to elementary school and enthusiastically shared with her what he’d learned.
French, Cajun, Creole, Houma: A Primer on Francophone Louisiana, by Carl A. Brasseaux, is an entertaining history of how the diverse French-speaking people in Louisiana created the unique, vibrant culture that intrigues people around the globe. In this study, Brasseaux presents an overview of all the various Francophone communities. I knew only of my family’s dialect, not realizing that throughout the French-speaking regions of Louisiana there are many other variants. This book, and others like it published by LSU Press, make me immensely thankful that Louisiana has a publishing house that preserves the history of our culture with accuracy, eloquence, and beauty—words, by the way, that I would use to describe my grandmother’s language.
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