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Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s Poor Man’s Provence Named Baton Rouge’s One Book One Community Summer Read

NewSouth Books was honored to learn that Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s memoir, Poor Man’s Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana, was named by the Baton Rouge One Book Community (OBOC) Program as its summer 2009 reading selection. In his message at the OBOC kick-off event, East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor Kip Holden said, “Let us become tourists in our own state and realize once again that whether it’s in the food or the music, [what we have in Louisiana] adds up to a magic that cannot be found anywhere else in this country.” He later added, “I’m hoping that while we read about Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s experiences of putting down roots in Cajun country, we might all find ourselves — and remember what a treasure we have in this great state.”

OBOC is a citywide book club based in Baton Rouge that aims to use a common reading experience to foster dialogue about intellectual and cultural issues. OBOC organizing sponsors include Baton Rouge Community College, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Forum 35, LSU, Redstick Internet Services, Barnes & Noble, and The Greater Baton Rouge Literacy Coalition.

According to the OBOC press release, greater Baton Rouge area residents are encouraged to read Poor Man’s Provence and to join Rheta Grimsley Johnson for a free public presentation she’ll give on August 20 or to participate in other discussion events. The free event featuring the author happens at 7 pm on Thursday, August 20 at LSU’s Cox Communications Academic Center for Student Athletes; the Cox Center is located on the corner of Fieldhouse and N. Stadium Drives on the LSU Campus. Reading guides and additional information about Poor Man’s Provence and the OBOC program can be found online at