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Book Nook: Five-Carat Soul, by James McBride


A new book by James McBride is an event. The last time he appeared on this program he had just published his novel "The Good Lord Bird." That extraordinary book went on to win the National Book Award. If you have not read it, you are missing out.

McBride's latest book, "Five-Carat Soul," is a collection of stories. In these tales the author transports us to the waning moments of the Civil War as a young orphan wonders if is father really is Abraham Lincoln. We are taken on a quest to locate the rarest toy in the world. And we visit the zoo and experience McBride's take on what the captive animals think about the people who have imprisoned them.

I had wanted to interview James McBride for his previous book, a biography of the singer James Brown. At the time that book was released I was unable to obtain an interview. I asked McBride about it and he explained why he wasn't doing any interviews for that other book. Writing that book about Brown had been an ordeal and the experience of conducting the research for it and what he had discovered about the complicated history of the James Brown estate had left the writer exhausted and sad.

It was a pleasure to talk to him again about his fiction writing. I hope you'll also dip into our podcast archive and listen to our previous interview for "The Good Lord Bird."

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by five local library systems in southwest Ohio: the Greene County Public Library,  Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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