Song Yet Sung
By James McBride
(Riverhead Trade, Paperback, 9781594483509, 384pp.)
Publication Date: January 6, 2009
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.
In the days before the Civil War, a runaway slave named Liz Spocott breaks free from her captors and escapes into the labyrinthine swamps of Maryland’s eastern shore, setting loose a drama of violence and hope among slave catchers, plantation owners, watermen, runaway slaves, and free blacks. Liz is near death, wracked by disturbing visions of the future, and armed with the Code,” a fiercely guarded cryptic means of communication for slaves on the run. Liz’s flight and her dreams of tomorrow will thrust all those near her toward a mysterious, redemptive fate.
Filled with rich, true detailsmuch of the story is drawn from historical eventsand told in McBride’s signature lyrical style, Song Yet Sung is a story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness.
James McBride is an accomplished musician and author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, the #1 bestselling American classic The Color of Water, and the bestsellers Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St. Anna, which was turned into a film by Spike Lee. McBride is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
Praise for Song Yet Sung
“McBride keeps the suspense high as he raises troubling questions about slavery’s legacy, the price of freedom and what it means to be human.”—People
"McBride...can deliver the cauterizing power of anger without the corrosive effects of bitterness....It just might turn out to be balm for a wound that has so far stubbornly refused to heal."—The New York Times
"Gripping, affecting, and beautifully paced, Song Yet Sung illuminates, in the most dramatic fashion, a deeply troubled, vastly complicated moment in American history."—O, The Oprah Magazine
"Powerful...A complex, ever-tightening, increasingly suspenseful web."—The Washington Post Book World
"Engrossing."—The Seattle Times
"Let McBride's beautiful language carry you back to his version of Dorchester County, Maryland, in 1850.... Noble and profound."—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Prepare yourself for a thrilling ride."—Essence
"It's hard to imagine anyone being able to write to the caliber of Toni Morrison and Edward P. Jones, but James McBride does just that in Song Yet Sung....McBride's characters stick with you long after the novel is finished."—The Dallas Morning News
"A raw and captivating story of a runaway female slave and a slave catcher, both seeking freedom, forgiveness, and love."—Ebony
"Deceptively simple, the narrative is clean, spare, and relentless...Beautiful."—Portland Oregonian