Mississippi Writers and Musicians
MISSISSIPPI WRITERS: Jill Conner Browne


Jill Conner Browne Jill Conner Browne, Photo by David Rae Morris, courtesy of Three Rivers Press

Major Works

  • The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love (Three Rivers Press, February 1999)
  • God Save the Sweet Potato Queens (Three Rivers Press, January 2001)
  • Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Box of Love (1999)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn't Actually Do, but Could Have, and May Yet by Jill Conner Browne and Karin Gillespie (2007)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit (2008)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner) (2003)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens' Field Guide to Men: Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay, or Dead (2004)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens' Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide (2005)
  • Mostly Mississippi by Miriam Weems and foreword by Jill Conner Browne (2007)
  • The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Life: the Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love and God Save the Sweet Potato Queens (2001)
  • It's a Chick Thing: Celebrating the Wild Side of Women's Friendship by Ame Mahler Beanland, Emily Miles Terry, and Jill Conner Browne (2000)

 

The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love by Jill Conner BrowneGod Save the Sweet Potato Queens by Jill Conner Browne

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Biography of Jill Conner Browne Danielle Hicks (SHS)
by Danielle Hicks (SHS) 2001

Jill Conner Browne exercises and runs constantly and is a weightlifting instructor at the YMCA in Jackson, Mississippi.  In addition, she writes for the Mississippi Business Journal using the pen  name, Betty Fulton.    In 1999, Jill Conner Browne, royal boss queen of Jackson, Mississippi's Sweet Potato Queens, introduced the queens  to the world in the hilarious  bestseller The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love.  Her first book sold over 250,000 copies and had to go to press fourteen times.  The rage over the Queens started in the early 1980's--at least for Browne it did (Three Rivers Press).  Her followers didn't hop on the royal bandwagon until a decade later.  In 1982, she entered herself,  along with four of her friends, in the Jackson, Mississippi St. Paddy's Day Parade as THE Sweet Potato Queen.  They threw, yes, you guessed it, sweet potatoes to their not-so-adoring fans (Browne).  Later, fans came from across the country to grovel at the Queens' feet. And so the phenomenon came to be what it is today; what started from a little fun back in the 80's blossomed into a full-blown frenzy.  Browne keeps herself grounded by continuing to write her weekly humourous fitness column for the Clarion-Ledger, the newspaper of Jackson, Mississippi.  She also stays content with her family in Jackson, Mississippi,  which includes her daughter Bailey, her mother, three cats, and her dog (Three Rivers Press).

It is rumored that Browne is working on a third Sweet Potato Queen Book.  The contents of this one are highly confidential, but information has been released about the concept for the cover.  Expect to see more of the Queens than you ever have before when their butts are given the spotlight on the cover of her not yet titled new book (Dickerson).  Her books include The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love (Three Rivers Press, February,  1999) and God Save the Sweet Potato Queens (Three Rivers Press, January 2001).

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A Review of The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love
by Danielle Hicks (SHS)

The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love is a shocking portrayal of a "fallen Southern belle's" outlook on love.  Her provocative stories depict her and her fellow Queens' trials and tribulations through life, love, and various men.  This book will have you rolling on the floor laughing and begging for more.

Jill Conner BrowneThese extraordinary women, although they seem contrived, are actual residents of Jackson, Mississippi.  Each year they are featured in the annual St. Paddy's Day Parade in downtown Jackson.  Their one of a kind outfits come with enhanced chests and butts and wouldn't be complete without their big red-haired wigs.  The eight of them, led by Browne, ride in style and make men grovel at their feet, as they stand atop their infamous float.

Browne and her colleagues are making a statement about pageants by making themselves queens for life. The Queens are exclusive,  but there is a group called the Wannabes, who are women who want to be Queens, that try and pass outrageous tests to become one. The rules of being a Queen are simple: no matter how old you look, you're still young at heart, so you'd better act like it. You'd think they would want their identities known, but that just isn't the case. The extravagant outfits hide their true identities so that they can and do act however they want to without worrying about what others might think of them.

The purpose of this book is to give everyone who wants it, a glimpse into this southern belle's fantastic lifestyle. The first chapter or so just gives backgrounds on the Queens, how they came to be, and where they've been since then. I advise that you don't read the rest of the book if you get offended easily. The remainder of the book gives lessons and first and second hand accounts from Queens, Wannabes, family, and friends. Browne finishes the book  off with recipes for any situation.

I enjoyed the book very much, but would like to mention that it was written for a mature audience, so I wouldn't go out and buy it for your sweet little old grandmother. The stories, though funny, are a bit flashy and extremely blunt. Beating around the bush is not something this woman knows how to do. So if you're feeling a little frisky or just dying for a good laugh, pick up The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne, you won't be disappointed that you did.

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Related Websites

Jackson Free Press interesting interview with Browne.

BookPage article about Browne.

There are several  book reviews of God Save the Sweet Potato Queens here

Home page for Jill Conner Browne and the Sweet Potato Queens.


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Bibliography

Dickerson, James L. "One potato, two potato..." First Person Book Page Home. <http:www.bookpage.com/o=0102bp/jill_conner_browne.html> (18 April 2001)

Farringer, Janice A. "If  you want to be a Sweet Potato Queen,  you have to be particular." January Magazine. <http:www.backlightreview.com/profiles/connerbrowne.html (19 April 2001)

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"Jill Conner Browne: Top Yam." Crescent Blues. <http:www.crescentblues.com/2_2issue/browne_sweet_potato_queen.shtml> (20 April 2001)

"Meet the Author: Jill Conner Browne." First Person Book Page Home. <http:www.bookpage.com/9902bp/jill_conner_browne.html> (17 April 2001)

Three Rivers Press News. The Crown Publishing Group, 2001. 

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Last updated in 2008
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