Baton Rouge media turned their spotlights on Rheta Grimsley Johnson recently as residents embarked on the One Book One Community summer read program featuring Johnson’s travel memoir Poor Man’s Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana.
In a show airing July 31, Johnson told syndicated talk show host Jim Engster that she was “flabberagasted and honored” to have her book selected for the One Book program. She spoke about the luxury of being able to live in a community, Henderson, LA, for years before writing about it. Engster noted that Johnson’s “love of the area is conveyed quite eloquently” in her memoir.
Johnson also discussed with local WRKF radio Morning Edition host Saiward Pharr the fact that Poor Man’s Provence is selling well outside of Louisiana, and that the One Book program “filled a gap” by reaching her intended audience for this “love letter” to the people of Henderson.
In both interviews, Johnson discussed the recent unexpected death of her husband Don, and the support she received from the her Louisiana neighbors. She told the Baton Rouge Advocate, “I’ve made much of the fact in the book that the people in Henderson reminded me of what was important in life” and now “it’s as if they are teaching me about death.”