Video from a Live Talks Los Angeles event with James McBride discussing his new book, The Good Lord Bird, and performing with a Los Angeles Jazz trio. Event was held September 10, 2013, at The Moss Theatre in Santa Monica. For more info on Live Talks Los Angeles, visit: livetalksla.org and on McBride,
visit: James McBride.com

From the bestselling author of The Color of Water and Song Yet Sung 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.

“A magnificent new novel by the best-selling author James McBride.”
–cover review of The New York Times Book Review

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.

Over the ensuing months, Henry—whom Brown nicknames Little Onion—conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at 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.

James McBride is an author, musician and screenwriter. His landmark memoir, “The Color of Water,” is considered an American classic and read in schools and universities across the United States. His debut novel, “Miracle at St. Anna” was translated into a major motion picture directed by American film icon Spike Lee. James also wrote the script for the film. His novel, “Song Yet Sung,” was released in paperback in January 2009. He co-wrote and co-produced with Spike Lee the film “Red Hook Summer”. He is also a former staff writer for The Boston Globe, People Magazine and The Washington Post. His work has appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times.

James toured as a sideman with jazz legend Jimmy Scott among others. He has also written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., Purafe, Gary Burton, and even for the PBS television character “Barney.” He received the Stephen Sondheim Award and the Richard Rodgers Foundation Horizon Award for his musical “Bo-Bos” co-written with playwright Ed Shockley. His 2003 “Riffin’ and Pontificatin’ ” Musical Tour was captured in a nationallly televised Comcast documentary. He has been featured on national radio and television in America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

James is a native New Yorker and a graduate of New York City public schools. He studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and received his Masters in Journalism from Columbia University in New York at age 22. He holds several honorary doctorates and is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

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