Each year The Maecenas Society brings a noted author to Caddo Magnet for the Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series. Begun in 1997, the lecture series has presented fourteen authors to our students in a lecture during the school day and to anyone in the community in an open and free-to-the-public lecture in the evening.
The fifteenth Mary Jane Malone Lecture will be given on October 4th by Lalita Tademy.
Lalita Tademy was born in Berkeley, the youngest of four children. Tademy earned undergraduate and MBA degrees at UCLA, and held executive positions at several high technology companies. She left the corporate world after twenty years, immersing herself in first tracing her family's Louisiana history, and then writing her first book, Cane River. The novel is based on personal genealogy and her discovery of the Bill of Sale of her great-great-great-great Grandmother, sold in Louisiana in 1850 for $800. Cane River is a fictionalized account of four generations of Creole women, from slavery to the Jim Crow South, amidst the backdrop of more than 100 years of American history, and the injustices these strong women fought to create a legacy for their offspring. Oprah chose the novel for her Book Club in 2001, and it spent 17 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Her second novel, Red River, is also a NYT bestseller and was selected as San Francisco’s One City, One Book for 2007. Tademy is currently working on her third novel.
Tademy lives in California with her husband, Barry Williams.
Ms. Tademy will speak to the community in an open and free lecture on Thursday, October 4th at 6:30PM in our Performing Arts Center. Her books will be for sale, and she will be available for signings after the lecture.
The Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series was inspired by a Caddo Parish Magnet High School graduate who loved English, writing, and her high school. Mary Jane, daughter of Farrell and Martha Malone, the sister of Farrell James, and the granddaughter of Claude and the late Jane Pasquier, attended Caddo Magnet from August 1990 to May 1994. During this time, Mary Jane's participation included every aspect of student life, from the Student Government Association and National Honor Society to head cheerleader and queen of the Homecoming Court. She was also a member of the Debate Team, where she was described as intelligent, analytical, and competitive. A delightful, gentle spirit, Mary Jane could be recognized by the twinkle in her bright eyes, her boundless energy, and the compassionate nature that was as much a part of her as her cheerleading uniform and her pair of old tennis shoes. A tireless worker who was both a talented leader and a devoted follower, this young woman used her prodigious abilities and skills to gain the respect of teachers and classmates. Her blend of intellect, humor, personal warmth, and childlike innocence was unique for someone her age. Mary Jane wanted to teach English and to write. Because of her love for Magnet and her interest in literature and writing, it is entirely appropriate to celebrate her life with the Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series.
Past Mary Jane Malone Lecturers: