A conversation with James McBride

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Yesterday it was announced that James McBride had won a National Book Award for his novel The Good Lord Bird, a tale told from the point of view of a teenage slave participating in John Brown’s 1859 raid on the Harpers Ferry arsenal.

McBride has been on our radar ever since 1999, when he was the guest on the Readers & Writers call-in program, talking about his memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother.

We have pulled that conversation out of the archives so you can have a chance to hear one of the nation’s top writers discuss his work in own words.

A conversation with James McBride about “The Color of Water”


  1. Thrilled to hear about this award. The Color of Water was honest and moving. His new novel is definitely on my short list of must-reads.