How National Book Award Winner & Bestselling Author James McBride Writes

New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award winner, James McBride, spoke to me about eschewing literary fame, his friendship with Spike Lee, and his latest novel THE HEAVEN & EARTH GROCERY STORE. James McBride is a musician, screenwriter, and award-winning author of New York Times bestselling Oprah’s Book Club selection Deacon King Kong, the National Book Award–winner The Good Lord Bird (now a Showtime limited series starring Ethan Hawke), and the American classic The Color of Water. His debut novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was turned into a 2008 film by Oscar-winning writer and director Spike Lee, with a script written by McBride.  The author’s latest novel, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, was an Instant New York Times Bestseller and Named a Must Read for the Summer by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Time, Town & Country, and others. Described as “... a novel about small-town secrets and the people who keep them,” it begins in 1972 when workers in Pottstown, PA, find a skeleton at the bottom of a well. The New York Times Book Review called the book, “A murder mystery locked inside a Great American Novel.” James McBride received a National Humanities Medal from President Obama, “... for humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America.” He is a distinguished writer in residence at New York University. [Discover The Writer Files Extra: Get 'The Writer Files' Podcast Delivered Straight to Your Inbox at] [If you’re a fan of The Writer Files, please click FOLLOW to automatically see new interviews. And drop us a rating or a review wherever you listen] In this file James McBride and I discussed:  Why he finds no joy in being well-known How The Color of Water changed his career The lessons he learned from Michael Jackson The hyperbole of the literary world and standing on the shoulders of giants How we’re all more alike than we are different Why writers must seek out their mentors And a lot more! Show Notes: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Novel by James McBride (Amazon)  James McBride on Facebook James McBride on Instagram Kelton Reid on Twitter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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