Books by James McBride

FIVE-CARAT SOUL by James McBride
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"McBride emerges here as a master of what some might call 'wisdom fiction,' common to both The Twilight Zone and Bernard Malamud, offering instruction and moral edification to his readers without providing an Aesop-like moral."
A versatile, illustrious author brings out his first short-fiction buffet for sampling, and the results are provocatively varied in taste and texture; sometimes piquant, other times zesty. Read full book review >
Released: April 5, 2016

"An unconventional and fascinating portrait of Soul Brother No. 1 and the significance of his rise and fall in American culture."
National Book Award winner McBride (The Good Lord Bird, 2013, etc.) dissects the career, legacy, and myth of the Godfather of Soul.Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 20, 2013

"McBride presents an interesting experiment in point of view here, as all of Brown's activities are filtered through the eyes of a young adolescent who wavers between innocence and cynicism."
In McBride's version of events, John Brown's body doesn't lie a-mouldering in the grave—he's alive and vigorous and fanatical and doomed, so one could say his soul does indeed go marching on. Read full book review >
SONG YET SUNG by James McBride
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

"Explosively dramatic."
The slave-owning culture of Maryland's eastern shore in the 1850s comprises the world of McBride's second novel (following Miracle at St. Anna, 2002, and the bestselling memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, 1996). Read full book review >
MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA by James McBride
Released: Feb. 4, 2002

"McBride's heart is on his sleeve, but these days it looks just right."
Four Americans from the 92nd Buffalo Division and a Tuscan village endure the worst of the war in a brutal and moving first novel from McBride (a bestselling memoir: The Color of Water, 1996). Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 23, 1996

An eloquent narrative in which a young black man searches for his roots—against the wishes of his mother. McBride, a professional saxophonist and former staff writer for the Boston Globe and the Washington Post, grew up with 11 siblings in an all-black Brooklyn, New York, housing project. As a child, he became aware that his mother was different from others around him: She was white, and she kept secrets. When asked where she was from, McBride recalls, she would say something like ``God made me''; when asked about her ethnicity, she would say, `` `I'm light-skinned,' and change the subject.'' No amount of prodding could get her to say much more, and McBride was left to explore his mother's past without much help from his principal subject. What he learned occupies the pages of this vivid, affecting memoir: the story of a woman whose parents fled the anti-Jewish pogroms of Central Europe for the American South, there to be faced with new prejudices and develop a few of their own; a woman whose father sexually abused her for years and who ``would run down the back roads where the black folks lived'' to escape him; a woman who moved to New York, married a black minister, and raised eight children, then remarried on his death and raised four more. ``My parents were nonmaterialistic. They believed that money without knowledge was worthless, that education tempered with religion was the way to climb out of poverty in America, and over the years they were proven right,'' McBride writes. The catalogue of his siblings with which he closes his book bears him out: Most have gone on to be doctors, educators, and professionals, with rÇsumÇs of unbroken success. McBride's mother should take much pleasure in this loving if sometimes uncomfortable memoir, which embodies family values of the best kind. Other readers will take pleasure in it as well. Read full book review >