The Color Of Water 10th Anniversary Edition

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The Color Of Water 10th Anniversary Edition

by James Mcbride

Riverhead | February 7, 2006 | Trade Paperback

The Color Of Water 10th Anniversary Edition is rated 5 out of 5 by 2.
The New York Times bestselling story from the author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.

Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother''s past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man''s Tribute to His White Mother.

The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in "orchestrated chaos" with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. "Mommy," a fiercely protective woman with "dark eyes full of pep and fire," herded her brood to Manhattan''s free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother''s footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents'' loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.

At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. "God is the color of water," Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life''s blessings and life''s values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth''s determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.

Interspersed throughout his mother''s compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

 

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 8.11 × 5.26 × 0.78 in

Published: February 7, 2006

Publisher: Riverhead

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 159448192X

ISBN - 13: 9781594481925

Found in: Biography and Memoir

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Wonderful Book This book made me both laugh out loud and shed a few tears. McBride, a journalist, writes with that wonderful economy of words that few writers achieve. It's the type of book that makes you want to run out, buy a voice recorder, and start compiling your own family's oral history.
Date published: 2008-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Full of feeling This is my favourite book, hands down. The characters are so fully formed, you can't help but fall into the book. The feelings are amazing ... I would be crying on one page and laughing on the next. As a teacher who has read hundreds of books, I can recommend this one to all my students (and friends), and have! The fact that this is a true story adds to its appeal. I've read it 3 times already.
Date published: 2005-11-11

– More About This Product –

The Color Of Water 10th Anniversary Edition

by James Mcbride

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 336 pages, 8.11 × 5.26 × 0.78 in

Published: February 7, 2006

Publisher: Riverhead

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 159448192X

ISBN - 13: 9781594481925

About the Book

With a new Introduction to this touching homage to his mother, the author paints a portrait of growing up in a black neighborhood as the child of an interracial marriage. Although raised an Orthodox Jew in the South, McBride's mother abandoned her heritage, moved to Harlem, and married a black man.

From the Publisher

The New York Times bestselling story from the author of The Good Lord Bird, winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.

Who is Ruth McBride Jordan? A self-declared "light-skinned" woman evasive about her ethnicity, yet steadfast in her love for her twelve black children. James McBride, journalist, musician, and son, explores his mother''s past, as well as his own upbringing and heritage, in a poignant and powerful debut, The Color Of Water: A Black Man''s Tribute to His White Mother.

The son of a black minister and a woman who would not admit she was white, James McBride grew up in "orchestrated chaos" with his eleven siblings in the poor, all-black projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn. "Mommy," a fiercely protective woman with "dark eyes full of pep and fire," herded her brood to Manhattan''s free cultural events, sent them off on buses to the best (and mainly Jewish) schools, demanded good grades, and commanded respect. As a young man, McBride saw his mother as a source of embarrassment, worry, and confusion—and reached thirty before he began to discover the truth about her early life and long-buried pain.

In The Color of Water, McBride retraces his mother''s footsteps and, through her searing and spirited voice, recreates her remarkable story. The daughter of a failed itinerant Orthodox rabbi, she was born Rachel Shilsky (actually Ruchel Dwara Zylska) in Poland on April 1, 1921. Fleeing pogroms, her family emigrated to America and ultimately settled in Suffolk, Virginia, a small town where anti-Semitism and racial tensions ran high. With candor and immediacy, Ruth describes her parents'' loveless marriage; her fragile, handicapped mother; her cruel, sexually-abusive father; and the rest of the family and life she abandoned.

At seventeen, after fleeing Virginia and settling in New York City, Ruth married a black minister and founded the all- black New Brown Memorial Baptist Church in her Red Hook living room. "God is the color of water," Ruth McBride taught her children, firmly convinced that life''s blessings and life''s values transcend race. Twice widowed, and continually confronting overwhelming adversity and racism, Ruth''s determination, drive and discipline saw her dozen children through college—and most through graduate school. At age 65, she herself received a degree in social work from Temple University.

Interspersed throughout his mother''s compelling narrative, McBride shares candid recollections of his own experiences as a mixed-race child of poverty, his flirtations with drugs and violence, and his eventual self- realization and professional success. The Color of Water touches readers of all colors as a vivid portrait of growing up, a haunting meditation on race and identity, and a lyrical valentine to a mother from her son.

 

About the Author

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.
 

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Color of Water

"[A] triumph."—The New York Times Book Review

"As lively as a novel, a well-written, thoughtful contribution to the literature on race."—The Washington Post Book World

"Inspiring."—Glamour

"Vibrant."—The Boston Globe

"James McBride evokes his childhood trek across the great racial divide with the kind of power and grace that touches and uplifts all hearts."—Bebe Moore Campbell
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