James McBride opens new doors to John Brown and Harpers Ferry with fiction
With an introduction by Washington Post national political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson, bestselling author and jazz musician James McBride took the stage at the 2013 National Book Festival to present his latest bestseller and 2013 winner of the National Book Award for Fiction, The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead Books; August, 2013), an historical novel imagining the life of staunch slavery abolitionist John Brown and his famous raid on Harpers Ferry with a small group of supporters just eighteen months before the U.S. Civil War broke out over slavery. Having reviewed the historical background of his story, McBride read from the first chapter of his award-winning novel and introduced Brown's sidekick dubbed 'Little Onion', a young slave wearing a sackcloth smock, who Brown, having shot the slave's master, flees the scene with, having mistaken the boy for a girl. McBride wrapped his presentation with comments on the nuances of historical fiction before taking questions from the audience on researching the John Brown story; his views on U.S. progress in civil rights since the Civil War; his reflections on Mark Twain, Spike Lee, and his Mom; and his thoughts on language in Huckleberry Finn and The Color Of Water.
Book and Author Headlines
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