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From the New York Times bestselling author of Deacon King Kong and The Good Lord Bird, winner of the National Book Award for Fiction: The modern classic that Oprah.com calls one of the best memoirs of a generation and that launched James McBride's literary career. More than two years on The New York Times bestseller list. As a boy in Brooklyn's Red Hook projects, James McBride knew his mother was different. But when he asked her about it, she'd simply say 'I'm light-skinned.' Later he wondered if he was different too, and asked his mother if he was black or white. 'You're a human being! Educate yourself or you'll be a nobody!' she snapped back. And when James asked about God, she told him 'God is the color of water.' This is the remarkable story of an eccentric and determined woman: a rabbi's daughter, born in Poland and raised in the Deep South who fled to Harlem, married a black preacher, founded a Baptist church and put twelve children through college. A celebration of resilience, faith and forgiveness, The Color of Water is an eloquent exploration of what family really means.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, Deacon King Kong, Five-Carat Soul, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. In the days before the Civil War, a runaway slave named Liz Spocott breaks free from her captors and escapes into the labyrinthine swamps of Maryland’s eastern shore, setting loose a drama of violence and hope among slave catchers, plantation owners, watermen, runaway slaves, and free blacks. Liz is near death, wracked by disturbing visions of the future, and armed with “the Code,” a fiercely guarded cryptic means of communication for slaves on the run. Liz’s flight and her dreams of tomorrow will thrust all those near her toward a mysterious, redemptive fate. Filled with rich, true details—much of the story is drawn from historical events—and told in McBride’s signature lyrical style, Song Yet Sung is a story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness.
National Book Award winner James McBride goes in search of the real James Brownand his surprising journey illuminates not only our understanding of the Godfather of Soul but the ways in which our cultural heritage has been shaped by Browns legacy.
It's been a long seventeen years since Jess last saw her grandmother or visited the family cottage set on an idyllic lake in Northern Michigan. For all that time, she's been haunted by loss--of her innocence and her ability to trust and, most of all, of a profound summer romance that might have been something more. So when her grandmother leaves the house to her, Jess summons her courage and returns to a place full of memories--and secrets. There, she stumbles upon old letters and photographs of a time not so much forgotten as buried. As she begins to unravel the hidden histories of her mother and her grandmother, she makes a startling discovery about a tragic death that prompted her family's slow undoing. With every uneven and painful step into the past, Jess comes closer to a truth that could alter her own path--and open a door to a different future.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, and Deacon King Kong James McBride’s powerful memoir, The Color of Water, was a groundbreaking literary phenomenon that transcended racial and religious boundaries, garnering unprecedented acclaim and topping bestseller lists for more than two years. Now McBride turns his extraordinary gift for storytelling to fiction—in a universal tale of courage and redemption inspired by a little-known historic event. In Miracle at St. Anna, toward the end of World War II, four Buffalo Soldiers from the Army’s Negro 92nd Division find themselves separated from their unit and behind enemy lines. Risking their lives for a country in which they are treated with less respect than the enemy they are fighting, they discover humanity in the small Tuscan village of St. Anna di Stazzema—in the peasants who shelter them, in the unspoken affection of an orphaned child, in a newfound faith in fellow man. And even in the face of unspeakable tragedy, they—and we—learn to see the small miracles of life. This acclaimed novel is now a major motion picture directed by Spike Lee.
Now a Showtime limited series starring Ethan Hawke and Daveed Diggs Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction From the bestselling author of Deacon King Kong (an Oprah Book Club pick) and The Color of Water comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive. Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1856--a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces--when legendary abolitionist John Brown arrives. When an argument between Brown and Henry's master turns violent, Henry is forced to leave town--along with Brown, who believes Henry to be a girl and his good luck charm. Over the ensuing months, Henry, whom Brown nicknames Little Onion, conceals his true identity to stay alive. Eventually Brown sweeps him into the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859--one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride's meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.
A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng. Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love. "Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book."--John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down
“[Makes] the very convincing case that, until and unless there is a full accounting for what happened with Donald Trump, 2020 is not over and never will be.” —The New Yorker “Riveting…we can never be reminded too often to never forget.” —The Wall Street Journal Journalist Géraldine Schwarz’s astonishing memoir of her German and French grandparents’ lives during World War II “also serves as a perceptive look at the current rise of far-right nationalism throughout Europe and the US” (Publishers Weekly). During World War II, Géraldine Schwarz’s German grandparents were neither heroes nor villains; they were merely Mitlaüfer—those who followed the current. Once the war ended, they wanted to bury the past under the wreckage of the Third Reich. Decades later, while delving through filing cabinets in the basement of their apartment building in Mannheim, Schwarz discovers that in 1938, her paternal grandfather Karl took advantage of Nazi policies to buy a business from a Jewish family for a low price. She finds letters from the only survivor of this family (all the others perished in Auschwitz), demanding reparations. But Karl Schwarz refused to acknowledge his responsibility. Géraldine starts to question the past: How guilty were her grandparents? What makes us complicit? On her mother’s side, she investigates the role of her French grandfather, a policeman in Vichy. Weaving together the threads of three generations of her family story with Europe’s process of post-war reckoning, Schwarz explores how millions were seduced by ideology, overcome by a fog of denial after the war, and, in Germany at least, eventually managed to transform collective guilt into democratic responsibility. She asks: How can nations learn from history? And she observes that countries that avoid confronting the past are especially vulnerable to extremism. Searing and unforgettable, Those Who Forget “deserves to be read and discussed widely...this is Schwarz’s invaluable warning” (The Washington Post Book Review).
An Instant New York Times bestseller / An Oprah’s Book Club Pick In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, an award-winning “miraculous debut” (Washington Post) about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys. Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox. With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances. One of President Obama's Favorite Books of 2021 Winner of the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence Winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize Shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize Shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Longlisted for the 2022 Carnegie Medal for Excellence Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Longlisted for the Crook’s Corner Book Prize A Best Book of the Year: Oprah Daily, NPR, Washington Post, Time, Boston Globe, Smithsonian, Chicago Public Library, BookBrowse, and the Oregonian A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice A July 2021 Indie Next Pick