First came love, then came salvation, now comes food and money. Is it the latest reality TV craze? No, it's the literary chronology of the Sweet Potato Queens, a group of irreverent Southern women of a certain age, located in Jackson, Miss., who are reclaiming the glories of their youth through just about any means at their disposal. (See "Long Live the Queens," Bookselling, Dec. 16, 2002; or www.sweetpotatoqueens.com.) A third literary opus, The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner by Jill Conner Browne, now joins their earlier works—The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love and God Save the Sweet Potato Queens —and marks its second week on our trade paper list. A two-page Newsweek feature, along with gigs on Good Morning America and All Things Considered, have been major sales boosters, as Three Rivers Press is reporting 170,000 copies in print after three printings. Evidently these gals are onto something: at last count there were some 1,900 Sweet Potato Queens chapters throughout the country.
With reporting by Dick Donahue