Viola Fontenot



Viola Fontenot, a retired bank officer, was born a sharecropper’s daughter from the Church Point, Acadia Parish area. Speaking only French until first grade, she was punished for speaking it at school. Her book, A Cajun Girl’s Sharecropping Years, published by University Press of Mississippi, was awarded the LEH 2019 Louisiana Humanities Book of the Year. Fontenot is also a contributor to the O Malheureuse anthology.




12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Capitol Park Event Center, Meeting Room
Book Talk
Ô Malheureuse: French Writings by Louisiana Women

1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing


Ô Malheureuse

Ô Malheureuse is a first of its kind collection of Louisiana women's French language writings, including song, poem, and prose. Inspired by the phrase “Ô malheureuse!” or “Oh unhappy woman," commonly found in the lyrics of traditional south Louisiana Cajun song, this collection is an intuitive and unselfconscious look at some of the women who are writing in Louisiana French now.  It is produced in an effort to provide more art and dialogue in the local language, and to bring balance to a temporary imbalance in the public voice of women in Louisiana French literature for current and future generations of Louisiana French speakers. 


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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