The Queen of Sugar Hill: A Novel of Hattie McDaniel

The Queen of Sugar Hill: A Novel of Hattie McDaniel

Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
ISBN: 9780063291072
About the Book

Bestselling author ReShonda Tate presents a fascinating fictional portrait of Hattie McDaniel, one of Hollywood’s most prolific but woefully underappreciated stars—and the first Black person ever to win an Oscar for her role as Mammy in the critically acclaimed film classic Gone With the Wind.

It was supposed to be the highlight of her career, the pinnacle for which she’d worked all her life. And as Hattie McDaniel took the stage in 1940 to claim an honor that would make her the first African-American woman to win an Academy Award, she tearfully took her place in history. Between personal triumphs and tragedies, heartbreaking losses, and severe setbacks, this historic night of winning best supporting actress for her role as the sassy Mammy in the controversial movie Gone With the Wind was going to be life-changing. Or so she thought.

Months after winning the award, not only did the Oscar curse set in where Hattie couldn’t find work, but she found herself thrust in the middle of two worlds—Black and White—and not being welcomed in either. Whites only saw her as Mammy and Blacks detested the demeaning portrayal. As the NAACP waged an all-out war against Hattie and actors like her, the emotionally conflicted actor found herself struggling daily.

Through it all, Hattie continued her fight to pave a path for other Negro actors, while focusing on war efforts, fighting housing discrimination, and navigating four failed marriages. Luckily, she had a core group of friends to help her out—from Clark Gable to Louise Beavers to Ruby Berkley Goodwin and Dorothy Dandridge.

The Queen of Sugar Hill brings to life the powerful story of one woman who was driven by many passions—ambition, love, sex, family, friendship, and equality. In re-creating Hattie’s story, ReShonda Tate delivers an unforgettable novel of resilience, dedication, and determination—about what it takes to achieve your dreams—even when everything—and everyone—is against you.

"In The Queen of Sugar Hill, ReShonda Tate illuminates the little-known story of Hattie McDaniel, the first Black person to ever win an Academy Award for her role in Gone With The Wind. Tate brilliantly depicts the tale of this extraordinary trailblazer and the extraordinary circumstances she overcame in a book that is important and inspiring."
– Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Sapphire
"ReShonda Tate’s new historical fiction, The Queen of Sugar Hill, takes the reader on an intimate drive through the complex and often misunderstood neighborhood where Academy Award-winning actress Hattie McDaniel lived. Tate’s characterization of this champion of human dignity and humble fighter for race advancements is riveting, soulful, and poignant. Her exploration of the chasm between those wanting to work within the system and those rejecting it is as heartbreaking as it is illuminating. The Queen of Surgar Hill is a must-read biographical fiction."
– Vanessa Riley, Award-winning author ofIsland Queen and Queen of Exiles
"ReShonda Tate has written a moving, insightful portrayal of a legend I thought that I knew. From the very first page, she locked me into the story and never let me go. I felt like I was living Hattie’s life, traveling with her through all of her loves and all of her losses, all of her tragedies and definitely her triumphs. This beautifully written novel is a brilliant portrayal of a conflicted woman, struggling to find her place in a world that didn’t accept her. Definitely a must-read.”
– Victoria Christopher Murray, New York Times Bestselling author of The Personal Librarian and The First Ladies.
"On the heels of her greatest victory -- winning the Oscar -- famous actress Hattie McDaniel faces her greatest challenges, as explored in the pages of ReShonda Tate's eye-opening new novel, THE QUEEN OF SUGAR HILL. In bringing to life the inimitable Hattie against the backdrop of her segregated times, THE QUEEN OF SUGAR HILL introduces readers to the important, inspiring, heart-wrenching story of the legendary actress whose legacy deserve to be fully understood and celebrated."
– Marie Benedict, New York Times Bestselling author of The Personal Librarian and The Other Mrs. Christie.
"Hattie McDaniel steps out of the pages and into our hearts with this revealing novel about her experiences after winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Gone With the Wind. Warm and passionate, ambitious and driven, Hattie battles against the studios that try to pigeonhole her, the activists who criticize her, the neighbors who don’t want her living in their district. This is an eye-opening story about a remarkable woman, and I was gripped from the start."
– Gill Paul, USA Today bestselling author of A Beautiful Rival
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