Song Yet Sung (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

On the coast of 1850s Maryland, the escape of the "Dreamer," a female slave who has mysterious visions of the future, has repercussions throughout the region, as she is pursued or given refuge.
Based on actual events, this tremendously engrossing novel features conflicted slave catchers and plantation owners, ruthless slave stealers, and the population of slaves themselves, who employ a secret code of visual clues, in order to aid their fleeing brethren.
Part gripping, old-western tale, part complex morality play, and completely heartwrenching in its authenticity, this book enlightens as it is enthralls, deserving recognition as a classic of American historical fiction.

— From Erica

Spring/Summer '09 Reading Group List

“Song Yet Song is a compelling story of slaves' struggle for freedom in pre-Civil War Dorchester County, Maryland, where enslaved blacks lived alongside free blacks. The unpredictable human behavior that continues through the novel reinforces the idea that slavery came -- and comes -- in many forms, to money, to power, to ideas of others more powerful. This is a wonderfully readable book that questions what freedom really is, and it's an outstanding book club pick!”
— Helen Markus, HearthFire Books of Evergreen, Evergreen, CO


Look out for McBride's new book, Five-Carat Soul

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, and Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography.

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 details--much of the story is drawn from historical events--and told in McBride's signature lyrical style, Song Yet Sung is a story of tragic triumph, violent decisions, and unexpected kindness.

About the Author

Awarded a National Humanities Medal by President Obama, 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. He is also the author of Kill 'Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. McBride is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781594483509
ISBN-10: 1594483507
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: January 6th, 2009
Pages: 384
Language: English