90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
James McBride On His New Novel ‘The Good Lord Bird’

We talk to bestselling author James McBride about his new novel “The Good Lord Bird,” on slavery and the abolitionist movement.

(James McBride, photo by Chris Messina)

(James McBride, photo by Chris Messina)

At the end of a week where civil rights have been on everyone’s mind, we sit down with James McBride, author of “The Color of Water,” to talk about his new novel, “The Good Lord Bird.”

He looks at the notorious abolitionist John Brown, a religious zealot set on ending slavery through violent uprising. His sidekick, and our narrator, is Henry, although to a mixed up John Brown, it’s Henrietta.  In the novel we meet Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.  We see America on the brink of Civil War.

This hour, On Point: Bestselling author James McBride and his new book, “The Good Lord Bird.”

Guest

James McBride, author, musician, and screenwriter. His new novel is “The Good Lord Bird.”

From Tom’s Reading List

San Francisco Chronicle: ’The Good Lord Bird,’ by James McBride – ”We have heard of good people who get swept up in historical circumstances and act badly. But sometimes history flatters mediocre people – that is, certain members of the fair-to-middling majority who, by happenstance, act bravely. Such is the persona who narrates James McBride’s absorbing and darkly funny novel, ‘The Good Lord Bird.’”

The Week: James McBride’s 6 favorite books – ”‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison (Vintage, $14). There’s no book that better captures the frustrations, hopes, dreams, and disappointments of black American girls. This book was written before Ms. Morrison outgrew the storytelling form that most writers must adhere to. She’s a genius. She can fly. The rest of us have to wait for the subway.”

Excerpt: ‘The Good Lord Bird’ by James McBride

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Sockmonkey00

    only heard a quick bit of the program, can you let us know what songs were played? there was one i wanted to find

    • skelly74

      Yes..”It’s too Late” by Carol King…

      • Sockmonkey00

        sorry, Im looking for the john brown song that wasnt john browns body

  • skelly74

    McBride is on to something special.

    What a great idea for a historical fiction. I wonder the publishing market demand for historical fiction because it is a fascinating genre.

  • mrtwilight23

    Great interview & great show. Thank you James and Jane.

  • allen 2saint

    Smart, insightful author. Jane Clayson is my new crush. Listen to her diction, man! The beautiful soft “h” before words like “what.” Swoon.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment