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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


Author and Musician James McBride to Discuss Abolition Movement and Latest Novel at FGCU

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Best-selling author and jazz musician James McBride will discuss abolitionist John Brown's impact on the anti-slavery movement at a speech and book signing Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).

Brown is at the center of McBride's latest novel, "The Good Lord Bird," which is long-listed for the 2013 National Book Award for fiction. The story is narrated by a freed slave boy who is passing as a girl. A New York Times review called it "magnificent" and McBride "a modern-day Mark Twain."

The free event at 6 p.m. in the Cohen Center ballroom also will feature a musical performance by McBride, who has toured as a saxophone sideman and written songs for artists such as Anita Baker and Grover Washington Jr.

A former staff writer for the Boston Globe, People magazine and The Washington Post, McBride is probably best known for his 1996 memoir, "The Color of Water," which remained on the New York Times bestseller list for two years and sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. It chronicles his life growing up in a large, poor biracial family led by a strict white Jewish mother. His debut novel, "Miracle at St. Anna," was adapted into a 2008 film by director Spike Lee, and he co-wrote Lee's 2012 film "Red Hook Summer."

This will be McBride's third visit to FGCU. He spoke at the First Year Convocation in 2003 and at Commencement in spring 2007. His appearance is presented by FGCU's Office of Community Outreach, Office of Undergraduate Studies, and Programming Board.

For more information, contact J. Webb Horton, assistant director of Community Outreach, at (239) 590-1335 or

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