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The Good Lord Bird

Title: The Good Lord Bird
By: James McBride

It’s both a comedy of errors and a serious piece of American history, this description of the desperate, violent struggles of the men fighting to abolish slavery or defend it. The story is told through the eyes of a fictional character nicknamed Onion, a young runaway slave disguised as a girl for survival. S/he is taken up by John Brown and his small army of Kansas Free-staters and is a witness to the raid on Harper’s Ferry. Surviving by wile and misadventure, Onion is an immature character you can’t quite love and can’t quite hate.

In an interview with the National Book Foundation, James McBride said "I wanted John Brown to be as popular in American mythology as, say, Jesse James, who was, among other things, a slave holder and a killer."

In the end, it is John Brown’s intense and soul-deep commitment to the abolition of slavery that leaves me amazed and grateful.

View similarly tagged posts: fiction

Posted on July 27, 2014 at 6:17 a.m.

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