James McBride at UNCG May 16

Posted on May 06, 2024

James McBride

Greensboro Bound and UNC Greensboro are collaborating to bring National Book Award-winning author James McBride to the Elliott University Center May 16 at 7 p.m.  

During the event, McBride will be in conversation with UNCG alumna Tita Ramírez ’00 MFA, author of the novel “Tell It To Me Singing,” published in 2024. “James McBride is a storyteller who is keenly interested in complex characters — people whose identities defy stereotype. His books are filled with people his readers can get to know and empathize with on the deepest level possible,” she says. 

University Libraries External Engagement Coordinator and Greensboro Bound Board of Directors member Nakia Hoskins helped facilitate this event. “The relationship between University Libraries and Greensboro Bound is a monumental partnership that allows for community engagement and relationship development. I am honored to connect UNCG with such an amazing festival.”  

Dean of University Libraries Michael Crumpton adds, “This partnership is connected with our mission of promoting information literacy. Collaboration with Greensboro Bound helps us, as an academic library, stretch further into the community that supports us and the campus.” 

Greensboro Bound has a special bond with the University, says its program director, Jessica Beamon ’04. “We believe that our relationship with UNCG, a place where readers and writers are nurtured, is paramount to our success in putting on a festival that generates excitement about the literary arts.” She adds that UNCG has been a generous supporter of Greensboro Bound since its inception in 2018. 

Beamon earned dual bachelor’s degrees from UNCG in 2004. “It’s always so gratifying to see my alma mater out in the community doing the good work of bridge-building and modeling good collaboration,” she says.  

Most recently, McBride is the author of 2023’s “The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store.” His 2020 novel, “Deacon King Kong,” won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. It was also a selection for Oprah’s Book Club. In addition to captivating readers on the page, two of his novels have appeared on screen. “The Good Lord Bird,” winner of the 2013 National Book Award, was adapted as a miniseries in 2020. His 2003 novel “Miracle at St. Anna” was the basis for Spike Lee’s 2008 film of the same name. McBride himself adapted the screenplay.

His work has resonated with readers in and around Greensboro at least since 1999, when his best-selling memoir, “The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother,” was an all-campus read at UNCG. “He has many fans in the area and for them to be able to interact with him and have some of their questions answered by him truly makes this program worthwhile,” says Hoskins.  

Excitement is high for McBride’s visit, says Beamon. “I think every book club in town is reading him! People are so over the moon that he’s coming.”

For more information, including registration, please visit the Greensboro Bound webpage.

by Mercer Bufter ’11 MA

Courtesy photography

What's Trending