In this repeat of a March, 2003 interview, co-hosts Patricia Welch and Emma Jackson Ford talk with James McBride about his novel, Song Yet Sung. It is the story of Liz Spocott, a runaway slave, shot and near death, who is wracked by disturbing visions of the future as she lies shackled to an old woman in the prison attic of the notorious female slave-trader Patty Cannon and her gang. The ancient nameless woman to whom she is chained reveals “the Code,” a fiercely guarded cryptic means of communication for slaves on the run. Armed with an array of words she does not understand, Liz escapes again, but now must evade an enraged Patty Cannon and a new nemesis, Denwood Long – an ambivalent, troubled slave-catcher and waterman, who is coaxed out of retirement to break the Code.
Other works by McBride include the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, now a Netflix mini-series, the bestselling memoir, The Color of Water, and the New York Times bestseller, Deacon King Kong.
Miracle at St. Anna, McBride's second novel, was released as a major motion picture directed by film icon Spike Lee. James also wrote the script for the film, which debuted in 2008.