James McBride

Libby Lewis Photography

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Literary Arts

James McBride

Past Event: Wednesday, October 15, 2014

At Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

James McBride is an author, musician and screenwriter. His landmark memoir, The Color of Water, was on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. His latest novel The Good Lord Bird, about American revolutionary John Brown, is the winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction.

He has been a staff writer for publications such as the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Wilmington News Journal, and People. Additionally, he has written pieces for Rolling Stone, Us, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, National Geographic, and others. He is also an accomplished saxophonist and a Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at New York University. McBride is a native New Yorker. He plays tenor saxophone for the “The Rock Bottom Remainder,” a rock band made of “best-selling authors who are lousy musicians.”

McBride’s Patron Reception with have nibbles generously donated by Majorie Restaurant.


Selected Works:

The Color of Water (1996)

The Good Lord Bird (2013 National Book Award for Fiction)
Song Yet Sung (2008)
Miracle at St. Anna 

Miracle at St. Anna (2008)
Red Hook Summer (with Spike Lee) (2012)

Music and Lyrics for
Anita Baker
Grover Washington Jr.
Pura Fé
Gary Burton
PBS’s “Barney”
The Off-Broadway musical “Bo-Bos”
“Riffin’ and Pontificatin’” musical tour


James McBride and the Good Lord Bird Band | LIVE from the NYPL
The New York Times: Traveling With John Brown Along the Road to Literary Celebrity
How I Write: James McBride, The New National Book Award Winner For Fiction
The New York Times: Marching On: James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird

Event Details

Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

1119 8th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

Town Hall Seattle is centrally located at 1119 8th Ave, on the corner of 8th and Seneca. Their venue is served by frequent bus routes, is near access to light rail stations, and close to a number of parking options nearby. Please see their website for more details.


Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing losses, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. To make a request for open captioning, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10. Please note: for in-person events at Town Hall Seattle, we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure captioning services. 

Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video for online events. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). Town Hall Seattle has a hearing loop system, so you can switch your T-coil hearing aid to telecoil to have the stage’s microphones transmitted directly to your hearing aids. To pick up a headset, check in with any Town Hall usher when you arrive.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for interpretation, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Sign Language Interpretation” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process and we will contact you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in all sections at Town Hall Seattle, which is fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. Town Hall Seattle recommends that visitors use the 8th Avenue Entrance for events in the Great Hall, and elevators with Braille signage go to all levels within the Hall. The venue has all-gender, ADA-accessible restrooms on the lobby and Forum level. To reserve seating for a specific mobility concern, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” during ticket checkout, and we will contact you to confirm details. For more details on accessibility features at Town Hall, click here.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

All-gender restrooms are available.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services at our venues, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at [email protected], or Monday-Friday from 10:00am – 5:00pm at 206.621.2230×10.

For more accessibility information, please head to lectures.org/accessibility. If you would like to make accessibility arrangements you do not see listed here, please contact our box office or select “Other Accommodations” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will contact you to confirm details.