Join us for a book discussion and signing with local author Gwen Roland, author of Atchafalaya Houseboat and Postmark Bayour Chene!
Gwendolyn Gail Carpenter grew up in Central during the 50's and 60's. Roland’s first book, Atchafalaya Houseboat, describes her years of living in a houseboat that she and Calvin Voisin built in the 1970's. Their simple life, which replicated the experiences of their ancestors at Bayou Chene, struck a chord with readers and then viewers when it was made into an LPB documentary by the same name.
Roland’s follow-up novel Postmark Bayou Chene was published by LSU Press in November, 2015. “Readers of my memoir kept asking for more details about daily life back when Bayou Chene was a real community,” says Roland. “And to tell the truth, I was just as curious as they were. The old stories that I had heard all of my life begged to come alive with the smell of freshly tarred nets, the thump of a log against a houseboat’s hull, the heft of wet petticoats pulling into the current. I wanted to read a novel that would sweep me away to that place and time,” she says. “So I anchored those yarns with research and then set my imagination free to fill in the blanks. The result is Postmark Bayou Chene set in 1907.”
Roland currently lives in Georgia. We are excited to have her while she is in town for her high school reunion!
In the early 1970s, two idealistic young people -- Gwen Carpenter Roland and Calvin Voisin -- decided to leave civilization and re-create the vanished simple life of their great-grandparents in the heart of Louisiana's million-acre Atchafalaya River Basin Swamp.
In the heart of Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin, a letter sent from an isolated settlement, addressed to Hautes-Pyrenees, France, and marked undeliverable, shows up at the Bayou Chene post office. That same day locals find a dog, nearly dead and tethered to an empty skiff.