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Best-selling author McBride to speak Tuesday

James McBride, the composer and award-winning writer of the best-selling memoir, The Color of Water, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Sinclair Laboratory Auditorium. His talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Friends of the Lehigh University Libraries and the Lehigh University Visiting Lecturers Committee.

McBride’s talk will focus on his experience growing up as one of 12 siblings in an all-black housing project in Brooklyn with a black father and a willful, inspiring white mother.

With a narrative focused on his mother’s journey as the daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi in rural Virginia who ran away to Harlem and eventually founded an all-Baptist church in her living room, McBride offers both a poignant personal memoir and a meditation on race and identity.

The book, which has sold more than 1.7 million copies, has been published in 16 languages and is a perennial favorite among book clubs and reading groups. It won the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Literary Excellence, was an ALA Notable Book of the Year, and spent more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list.

The former staff writer for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and People magazine is also an accomplished composer and jazz musician who has written songs for Anita Baker and Grover Washington Jr., among others. He is the recipient of several awards for his work as a composer in musical theater, including the 1996 American Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award, the 1996 ASCAP Richard Rodgers Horizons Award, and the American Music Festival's 1993 Stephen Sondheim Award.

Posted on Thursday, September 08, 2005

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