Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

James Mcbride to Open Literary Evenings

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

James Mcbride to Open Literary Evenings

Article excerpt

James McBride, whose novel about abolitionist John Brown won the 2013 National Book Award, will open the 2014-15 series of Literary Evenings.

Mr. McBride's most recent book, "The Good Lord Bird," was praised for taking a pivotal event in American history and recounting it "in a voice as comic and original as any we have heard since Mark Twain," the National Book Foundation wrote in its award citation.

Mr. McBride, who grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., wrote the acclaimed 1995 memoir "The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother." He will be the first in a series of 10 authors and appears on Sept. 22.

On Oct. 6, the speaker is journalist and travel writer Simon Winchester, author of "The Men Who United the States," a combination of travelogue and popular history. Mr. Winchester's earlier book "The Professor and the Madman" recounted the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary and was published in 1998.

On Oct. 20, author and book club favorite Jodi Picoult will discuss her new novel, "Leaving Time." Ms. Picoult has written more than 20 books, many of which focus on the misfortunes of middle- class families and the mayhem that disrupts their lives. Her novel "My Sister's Keeper" was turned into a film.

On Nov. 3, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best-selling "Eat, Pray, Love," returns to Pittsburgh to talk about her new novel, "The Signature of All Things," a 19th-century story about a scholarly spinster whose knowledge of botany is encyclopedic.

On Nov. 17, the speaker is British historian Andrew Roberts, whose World War II book "The Storm of War" was listed among the 100 best books of 2011 by The New York Times. Mr. Roberts -- the author of 14 books, many of which focus on military history -- has written a new biography of French general Napoleon Bonaparte.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford ends the first half of the season on Dec. …

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