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The Grace of Silence
Special Powells.com Offer!
Tickets are now on sale to see Michele Norris at the Bagdad Theater on October 5, at 7pm. And the best part? We've got a pair to give away! See this blog post for details.
In her memoir The Grace of Silence (Pantheon), NPR's All Things Considered host Michele Norris has unearthed painful family secrets — from her father's shooting by the Birmingham police within weeks of his discharge from service in World War II to her grandmother's peddling pancake mix as an itinerant Aunt Jemima. Presented by Powell’s Books and OPB.
Please note: This ticketed event takes place at the Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Tickets, $24.95, include admission and a copy of The Grace of Silence, and are available at the Bagdad Theater, the Crystal Ballroom, and Ticketmaster.
Synopses & Reviews
In the wake of talk of a “postracial” America upon Barack Obama’s ascension as president of the United States, Michele Norris, cohost of National Public Radio’s flagship program All Things Considered, set out to write, through original reporting, a book about “the hidden conversation” on race that is unfolding nationwide. She would, she thought, base her book on the frank disclosures of others on the subject, but she was soon disabused of her presumption when forced to confront the fact that “the conversation” in her own family had not been forthright.
Norris unearthed painful family secrets that compelled her to question her own self-understanding: from her father’s shooting by a Birmingham police officer weeks after his discharge from the navy at the conclusion of World War II to her maternal grandmother’s peddling pancake mix as an itinerant Aunt Jemima to white farm women in the Midwest. In what became a profoundly personal and bracing journey into her family’s past, Norris traveled from her childhood home in Minneapolis to her ancestral roots in the Deep South to explore the reasons for the “things left unsaid” by her father and mother when she was growing up, the better to come to terms with her own identity. Along the way she discovered how her character was forged by both revelation and silence.
Extraordinary for Norris’s candor in examining her own racial legacy and what it means to be an American, The Grace of Silence is also informed by rigorous research in its evocation of time and place, scores of interviews with ordinary folk, and wise observations about evolving attitudes, at once encouraging and disturbing, toward race in America today. For its particularity and universality, it is powerfully moving, a tour de force.
Norris, host of National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," set out to write about "the hidden conversation on race" and in doing so unearthed painful family secrets--from her father's shooting by the Birmingham police within weeks of his discharge from service in World War II to her grandmother's peddling pancake mix as an itinerant Aunt Jemima.
About the Author
Michele Norris, host of All Things Considered, is cowinner of the Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award for The York Project: Race and the ‘08 Vote and was chosen in 2009 as Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. She has written for, among other publications, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times. As a correspondent for ABC News from 1993 to 2002, she earned Emmy and Peabody awards for her contribution to the network’s 9/11 reporting. She has been a frequent guest commentator on Meet the Press, The Chris Matthews Show, and Charlie Rose. Norris lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children.
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