Ride a bull. Chat up a Senator. And get your homework in on time. It’s all in a day’s work for a festival queen.
If you assume all pageant queens are airheads who can’t handle geography, or vain girls who like to parade around in bathing suits, then welcome to the alternative universe of America’s festival queens. With titles like Catfish Queen and Swine Queen, and royal duties ranging from leading parades to kissing frogs to doing PR for local industries, these hardworking girls represent the best of what America has to offer: local cultures, unique traditions, and the kind of can-do community spirit that makes Main Street sparkle with promise.
The Rhinestone Sisterhood takes us deep into the world of small-town festival queens to capture the true story of four “sisters of the sash”—the Frog, Fur, Cotton, and Cattle Queens of Louisiana—and their quest to win the ultimate crown, Queen of Queens. Traveling across the state, David Valdes Greenwood introduces us to local queens with lives full of public speaking, pig chases, and pageant politics. We ride with the girls during their one-year reign, where families and boyfriends can be as complicated as judge’s panels, and a queen’s dreams may be at the mercy of a Category 4 hurricane.
High-spirited yet down-home, suspenseful and genuinely moving, The Rhinestone Sisterhood is, at heart, a story of female friendship and rivalry, of triumph and disappointment—not to mention a Frog Queen who just wouldn’t quit. Anyone who has ever wanted to be a princess will feel right at home.
David Valdes Greenwood is a lecturer at Tufts University and contributor to The Boston Globe Magazine. He is the author of two memoirs, Homo Domesticus and A Little Fruitcake.
From the Hardcover edition.
“The Rhinestone Sisterhood is a must-read for all True Queens—and you know who you are. (I used to have the exact same crown as on the cover—but mine are BIGGER now! I never had a cow, though.) Y’all will LOVE this book, trust me!”—Jill Conner Browne, THE Sweet Potato Queen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Potato Queens book series
"The Rhinestone Sisterhood is a delightful, moving and suspenseful ride through the yearlong reign of the four 'sisters of the sash.' Valdes Greenwood does more than just satisfy...he’s given us a book worthy of its own crown jewel."--EdgeLosAngeles.com
Full of vibrant and strong-willed characters, The Rhinestone Sisterhood takes you on a boisterous ride through high-spirited communities, local tradition, and the pride and perils of life as a Queen…you can’t help but be delighted by it. This charming portrait of small town life through its young women might just encourage a trip to next year’s Giant Omelette Celebration.—Blog.ModCloth.com
“Hilarious, poignant, and surprisingly suspenseful, The Rhinestone Sisterhood doesn’t lampoon Louisiana’s wacky pageant circuit but rather leaves us in awe of the hard work that comes with the crown. Only the snotty naysayers fare poorly in this affectionate, and affecting, portrait of small-town American royalty.”—Celia Rivenbark, author of You Can’t Drink All Day If You Don’t Start in the Morning and We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier
“The Cotton and Cattle Queens of Louisiana? Glamour shots astride a bull? OMG, LOL, and hip-hip hooray. With a meticulous eye for detail and a complete lack of condescension, David Valdes Greenwood opens a window into a side of life in rural America many of us know nothing about.”—Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection and Insignificant Others
“David Valdes Greenwood’s charming and funny (and revelatory) window on the astonishing world of the festival queen circuit is a diamond as big as the bayou.”—Mameve Medwed, author of How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life and Of Men and Their Mothers
"A nonfiction delight...Greenwood is an astute narrator who achieves a competition's tension throughout the pages with the help of a lovable and dramatic cast of characters."—New Orleans Magazine
“An illuminating book that is insightful as well as amusing and heartwarming…delightful.”—BookLoons.com
From the Hardcover edition.
On the Web
Video: The Rhinestone Sisterhood - Book Trailer
The Rhinestone Sisterhood by David Valdes Greenwood