Thursday, June 14, 2007


The Story Behind THE ROUX IN THE GUMBO by Kim Robinson

I started writing The Roux in the Gumbo in March of 1993 when I was pregnant with my second son. She was with me when all three of my childen were born. Though she didn’t understand why we needed to go to a hospital, I told her, “Because you don’t have an epidural.”

I did not start off writing it to be a book; it was going to be something I made copies of to give to the family. I was bedridden during the end of my pregnancy and my grandmother came from California to Texas to help me out.

One day when we were watching Oprah talk about her life and upcoming book, Grandmother said, "Shoot, I had more stuff happen to me than she did, someone should write my book. Shoot, you should write one too."

She started telling me her old stories; you know the kind you have heard a few times growing up, and since the computer was set up right next to the pull out couch in the den where I spent my days, I said, "Let's do it. I bet everybody in the family would like to read it."

When she went back home, I bought her a tape recorder so that when she thought of something, she could tape it and send it to me.

Every few months, I would send her tickets and she would come and stay for awhile while we worked on the book. I also went to Lafayette, Louisiana, where where my great-grandmother’s name still rings like a church house bell.

My grandmother suffered a stroke during a spinal cancer surgery and went into a coma. I printed out what I had and went to California. I would sit by her bed reading and the family asked me what I was reading and when I told them they said they wanted to read it, my mother made some copies and gave them out. One day while I was reading to my grandmother she said my name, though still in a coma.

She died the next day.

Everyone said that I had to finish the book and share it with the world. When I went back home my family members would call and give me their memories and send tapes that I added to the book. My grandmother's sister, Genevieve, and I would talk over the phone and I sent her a ticket to come, but sadly she got sick and died before she could come. But, I did get everything she wanted in.

My mother came and started reading and giving me her memories and there you have it. The title is because everyone who has someone who influenced their lives just as the Roux (Roo) base or gravy in Gumbo influences every spoonful. The book details my families life from the 1800's to 1997.

Kim Robinson
Author, The Roux in the Gumbo

1 comment:

Kim Robinson said...

thank you so much for having me

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