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3 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Song Yet Sung: A Novel

by

Song Yet Sung: A Novel Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"How do all these characters' stories combine? In a complex, ever-tightening, increasingly suspenseful web that rises toward a dramatic climax. Mixed in with the action, McBride shows the complexity of his characters' inner lives and dilemmas — particularly his black characters. The cadence of their speech, the way they interact, the small details of their thoughts, desires, fears and hopes: These the author renders with exquisite ease." David Anthony Durham, The Washington Post Book World (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Color of Water comes a powerful page-turner about a runaway slave and a determined slave catcher.

Nowhere has the drama of American slavery played itself out with more tension than in the dripping swamps of Maryland's eastern shore, where abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, born less than thirty miles apart, faced off against nefarious slave traders in a catch-me-if-you-can game that fueled fear and brought economic hardship to both white and black families. Trapped in the middle were the watermen, a group of America's most original and colorful pioneers, poor oystermen who often found themselves caught between the needs of rich plantation owners and the roaring Chesapeake, which often claimed their lives.

The powerful web of relationships in a small Chesapeake Bay town collapses as two souls face off in a gripping page-turner. Liz Spocott, a young runaway who has odd dreams about the future of the colored race, mistakenly inspires a breakout from the prison attic of a notorious slave thief named Patty Cannon. As Cannon stokes revenge, Liz flees into the nefarious world of the underground railroad with its double meanings and unspoken clues to freedom known to the slaves of Dorchester County as "The Code." Denwood Long, a troubled slave catcher and eastern shore waterman, is coaxed out of retirement to break "The Code" and track down Liz.

Filled with rich history — much of the story is drawn from historical events — and told in McBride's signature lyrical storytelling style, Song Yet Sung brings into full view a world long misunderstood in American fiction: how slavery worked, and the haunting, moral choices that lived beneath the surface, pressing both whites and blacks to search for relief in a world where both seemed to lose their moral compass. This is a story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness.

Review:

"James McBride's famous memoir, 'The Color of Water,' was a personal examination of the author's upbringing in a large, biracial family. Looking back at the life of his white, Jewish mother, McBride chronicled a good part of the last century, from the pre-World War II South, to New York through the turbulent '60s, right up to the Clinton era. His first novel, 'Miracle at St. Anna' (which is currently... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"McBride has fashioned a myth of retribution and sacrifice that recalls both William Faulkner's sagas of blighted generations and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon....Explosively dramatic." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"With a strong focus on the role of women, the author of the The Color of Water...recounts the history of slave revolts without sentimentality in a stirring novel of cruelty, betrayal, and courage....[A]n unforgettable climax..." Booklist

Review:

"The pace of the action is slowed by implausibility, repetitive and often cartoonish description, fairly obvious anachronisms, and a tremendous amount of unnecessary detail to the exclusion of the feelings of the (mostly flat) main characters." Library Journal

Review:

"Mr. McBride's characters stick with you long after the novel is finished....He is a talented writer and has done a masterful job of peeling back yet another layer of America's dark history." Dallas Morning News

Synopsis:

Escaped slaves, free blacks, slave-catchers, and plantation owners weave a tangled web of intrigue and adventure in bestselling memoirist (The Color of Water) McBride's intricately constructed and impressive second novel, set in pre-Civil War Maryland.

Synopsis:

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Color of Water comes a powerful page-turner about a runaway slave and a determined slave catcher.

Synopsis:

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction

A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year

Winner of the Morning News Tournament of Champions

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

“Outrageously entertaining.” –USA Today

“James McBride delivers another tour de force” –Essence

“So imaginative, youll race to the finish.” –NPR.org

“Wildly entertaining.”—4-star People lead review

"A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel.” – Washington Post

 

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 Browns antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.

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 Henrys master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes hes 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 McBrides meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.

 

About the Author

James McBride burst onto the scene with The Color of Water, a memoir exploring the author's struggle to understand his biracial identity. A bit of a Renaissance man — he's a skilled musician who has written for the likes of soul diva Anita Baker — McBride crossed over into the fiction camp with the war novel Miracle at St. Anna.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594489723
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
McBride, James
Publisher:
Riverhead Hardcover
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Subject:
Fugitive slaves
Subject:
Visions
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
February 5, 2008
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
8
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
14

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Style and Design
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Song Yet Sung: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Riverhead Hardcover - English 9781594489723 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "How do all these characters' stories combine? In a complex, ever-tightening, increasingly suspenseful web that rises toward a dramatic climax. Mixed in with the action, McBride shows the complexity of his characters' inner lives and dilemmas — particularly his black characters. The cadence of their speech, the way they interact, the small details of their thoughts, desires, fears and hopes: These the author renders with exquisite ease." (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)
"Review" by , "McBride has fashioned a myth of retribution and sacrifice that recalls both William Faulkner's sagas of blighted generations and Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon....Explosively dramatic."
"Review" by , "With a strong focus on the role of women, the author of the The Color of Water...recounts the history of slave revolts without sentimentality in a stirring novel of cruelty, betrayal, and courage....[A]n unforgettable climax..."
"Review" by , "The pace of the action is slowed by implausibility, repetitive and often cartoonish description, fairly obvious anachronisms, and a tremendous amount of unnecessary detail to the exclusion of the feelings of the (mostly flat) main characters."
"Review" by , "Mr. McBride's characters stick with you long after the novel is finished....He is a talented writer and has done a masterful job of peeling back yet another layer of America's dark history."
"Synopsis" by , Escaped slaves, free blacks, slave-catchers, and plantation owners weave a tangled web of intrigue and adventure in bestselling memoirist (The Color of Water) McBride's intricately constructed and impressive second novel, set in pre-Civil War Maryland.
"Synopsis" by ,
From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Color of Water comes a powerful page-turner about a runaway slave and a determined slave catcher.

"Synopsis" by ,
Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction

A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year

Winner of the Morning News Tournament of Champions

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

“Outrageously entertaining.” –USA Today

“James McBride delivers another tour de force” –Essence

“So imaginative, youll race to the finish.” –NPR.org

“Wildly entertaining.”—4-star People lead review

"A boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel.” – Washington Post

 

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 Browns antislavery crusade—and who must pass as a girl to survive.

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 Henrys master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes hes 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 McBrides meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.

 

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