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Check out the reading group guide, with discussion questions, a summary, and an interview with the author.

Read an excerpt.


James McBride, author of Song Yet Sung.


James McBride’s visit is sponsored by

Friends of the Nashua Public Library


Questions about Nashua Reads?

For more information about Nashua Reads, contact Carol Eyman at (603) 589-4610 or carol.eyman@nashualibrary.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One City, One Book 2011:
Nashua Reads Song Yet Sung

Meet James McBride on October 16

Song Yet Sung by James McBride is the selection for the 2011 Nashua Reads: One City, One Book program.

About the book
A group of slaves, armed with a secret means of communication known as "the Code," escapes in the swamps of Maryland’s Eastern Shore in 1850. Among them is Liz Spocott, who is near death and haunted by disturbing visions of the future. The escape sets off a drama of violence and hope among slave catchers, plantation owners, oystermen, free blacks, and the runaways. "Song Yet Sung illuminates, in the most dramatic fashion, a deeply troubling, vastly complicated moment in American history, and asks us to bear witness to both the oppressed and the oppressor in ourselves."—O, The Oprah Magazine

About the author
James McBride is an award-winning writer, composer, and saxophonist. His memoir, The Color of Water, is an American classic read in colleges and high schools across America.

His first novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was called a "searingly, soaringly beautiful novel" by The Baltimore Sun and became a major motion picture directed by acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee.

A former staff writer for The Boston Globe, People, and The Washington Post, McBride has also contributed to The New York Times and Rolling Stone. He received the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award as well as several awards for his work as a composer in musical theater. He has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington, Jr., and Gary Burton.

McBride studied composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and is Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

More information about the author is available at www.jamesmcbride.com.

Get your copy now
The library has over 50 copies of Song Yet Sung, including large-print and audio copies. A set of 11 books, including a large-print copy, is available for borrowing by book groups. So reserve your copy, read it, talk about it with your friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and then meet the author on October 16.

Nashua Reads Events
All events take place at the Nashua Public Library and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

RISE Class
Sponsored by the Rivier Institute for Senior Education; open to all. You may attend some or all the sessions. Held on Tuesdays from 10:45 am to 12:15 pm. Final session is the meet-the-author event, Beyond the Book, on October 16.

September 6: Film: Whispers of Angels. See description below.

September 13: Discussion of Song Yet Sung by James McBride, led by retired English professor Jennifer Lee. Be sure to reserve a copy several weeks ahead of time so you can read it before the class.

September 20: "The Making of the American South: A Short History, 1500-1877." UNH Professor J. William Harris explores slavery and race relations, politics and economic development, and changes in ideas and culture, from the development of European outposts in the 16th century through Reconstruction.

September 27: Discussion of James McBride's memoir, The Color of Water, led by retired English professor Jennifer Lee. For copies, call Carol at (603) 589-4610.  

Film: Whispers of Angels
Documentary/2002/Unrated/60 mins.

Whispers of Angels tells the story of the collaboration between white Quaker abolitionist Thomas Garrett and William Still, a free, black, antislavery activist. Their effort to help "conduct" thousands of fugitives to freedom with the help of the legendary Harriet Tubman is at the center of this story about the Underground Railroad's "corridor of courage," which stretched from Maryland's Eastern Shore through Delaware to the streets of Philadelphia and ever north.
Tuesday, September 6, at 10:45 am or Thursday, October 6, at 7 pm
NPL Theater

American Uprising: The Untold Story of America's Largest Slave Revolt


Author Dan Rasmussen

Author Daniel Rasmussen tells the story of the night in 1811 when 500 slaves in military uniforms, armed with guns, cane knives, and axes, rose up from the plantations around New Orleans and set out to conquer the city. Their march represented the largest act of armed resistance against slavery in the history of the United States—and one of the defining moments in the history of New Orleans and the nation.
Thursday, September 22, at 7 pm
NPL Theater


Ellen Craft: Running 1,000 Miles to Freedom
In 1848, Ellen Craft and her husband, William, made a most remarkable escape from slavery in Georgia to freedom in the north. Rather than travel via the Underground Railway, they took the “above-ground” railroad. Often mistaken as Caucasian due to her light complexion, Ellen disguised herself as a white man while her husband posed as her slave. In historically accurate costumes performer Marcia Estabrook tells the true story of their escape from slavery, their year in Boston, their subsequent escape to England, and their eventual return to Georgia. Registration required; go to www.tinyurl.com/nashuareads or call (603) 589-4610.
Saturday, September 24, at 2 pm
NPL Theater

Marcia Estabrook portrays Ellen Craft.

 

Nashua Novel Readers
The Nashua Novel Readers will discuss Song Yet Sung at their regular October meeting. New members are always welcome.

Thursday, October 13, at 7 pm
Music/Art/Media Wing


Beyond the Book: An Afternoon with James McBride
Thanks to support from the Friends of the Library, author James McBride will be on hand to talk about Song Yet Sung and answer your questions. Toadstool books will bring copies of James's books for sale and signing. Before the presentation, a private wine and cheese reception with the author will be held in the Dion Center Board Room.

Bring your book group, and enter our drawing for a bag of up to 12 copies of next year's Nashua Reads book!

Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door, or $25 for entry to both the private reception and presentation. Available at the Nashua Public Library circulation desk or by mail using this order form.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Private reception: 1 pm
Public presentation: 2 pm
Rivier College Dion Center
16 Clement Street, Nashua

About Nashua Reads: One City, One Book
The goal of the One City, One Book program is to get as many Nashuans as possible to read the same book and talk about it with friends, co-workers, and neighbors. The program is now in its ninth year. Previous selections included We Are All Welcome Here, Skeletons at the Feast, The Tortilla CurtainZorroIn the Heart of the SeaThe Kite RunnerTravels With Charley, and Empire Falls

The idea of community reading programs originated in 1998, when the Washington Center for the Book sponsored "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book." For four days, Russell Banks visited the community for programs and discussions about his book, The Sweet Hereafter. In the years since, similar programs, under names like "One City, One Book," "The Big Read," and others, have been held throughout the US.