Brooke Champagne • Book Launch & Signing

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Join Ernest & Hadley Booksellers on Friday, April 12, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM as we welcome Brooke Champagne for a book launch, signing and talk, introducing her newly released book -- Nola Face: A Latina's Life in the Big Easy --

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Early in Brooke Champagne’s childhood, her Ecuadorian grandmother Lala (half bruja, half santa) strictly circumscribed the girl’s present and future: become beautiful but know precisely when to use it; rationalize in English but love in God’s first language, the superior Spanish; and if you must write, Dios help you, at least make a subject of me. Champagne’s betrayal of these confounding dictates began before they were even spoken, and she soon started both writing and hiding the truth about whom she was becoming.

The hilarious, heartbreaking essays in this collection trace the evolutions of this girlhood of competing languages, ethnicities, aesthetics, politics, and class constraints against the backdrop of a boozy New Orleans upbringing. In these essays, Champagne and members of her family love poorly and hate well, whip and get whipped, pray and curse in two languages, steal from The Man and give to themselves, kiss where it hurts, poke where it hurts worse, and keep and spill each other’s secrets—first face-to-face, then on the page. They believe and doubt and reckon with the stories they tell about themselves and where they come from, finally becoming most human, most alive, in their connections to one another.

In her unflinching and witty memoir, Brooke Champagne gets to the bone of it: family, identity, memory, and the complicated ways in which we relate to each other. In prose that is at once humorous, thought provoking, and emotionally challenging, Champagne asks us all to consider who we are, even when we like ourselves least. She shows us the beauty in looking for the truth, the beauty in trying to make a new way for those who come after us, in offering 'a different gift, a different kind of name. -Ashley M. Jones / author of Magic City Gospel

BROOKE CHAMPAGNE teaches in the MFA program at the University of Alabama. She was awarded the inaugural William Bradley Prize for the Essay, and her work has been selected as notable in several editions of the Best American Essays anthology series. She is the recipient of the Alabama State Council on the Arts Literary Fellowship in Prose. She lives in Northport, Alabama, with her husband and children.

Event date: 
Friday, April 12, 2024 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
1928 7Th St
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401-1829
Nola Face: A Latina's Life in the Big Easy By Brooke Champagne Cover Image
ISBN: 9780820366531
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Georgia Press - April 1st, 2024