Pen Pals Welcomes National Book Award Winner James McBride

Apr 26, 2017

Author of the acclaimed novel, The Good Lord Bird, brings his jazz band to Hopkins. 

James McBride is one of the most distinctive and electric voices in American literature today. A true renaissance man, he is an author, musician and screenwriter. His landmark memoir, The Color of Water, rested on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. It is considered an American classic and is read in schools and universities across the United States. His debut novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was translated into a major motion picture directed by American film icon Spike Lee. His novel, The Good Lord Bird, about American revolutionary John Brown, won the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction. In his latest book, Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul, McBride uncovers a story that helps to explain Brown's legacy and influence on the cultural landscape of America today.

Closing out the 20th Anniversary Season of Pen Pals, McBride (on saxophone and vocals) will explore the nature of identity, race and heritage, alongside members of The Good Lord Bird Band: Damon Due White on drums, Trevor Exter on bass, Adam Faulk on piano, and Keith Robinson on guitar.

  • Thursday, May 11 at 7:30pm
  • Friday, May 12 at 11am

Tickets are available at or by calling the Pen Pals Box Office: 612-543-8112.

ABOUT PEN PALS: All Pen Pals programs are held at the Hopkins Center for the Arts — located at 1111 Mainstreet in Hopkins. Tickets are $40 -$50 (prices include all taxes and handling fees). Proceeds benefit our world-class Hennepin County Library system.

Sponsored by: Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, RBC Wealth Management, and Anonymous in honor of Special Olympics Minnesota


The mission of Friends of the Hennepin County Library is to build awareness, appreciation and support for our world-class library. Friends of HCL raises resources and support for critically-needed HCL programs like Homework Help and Teen Tech Squad, as well as key HCL initiatives like engaging readers of all ages, expanding early learning environments and supporting kindergarten-readiness programs.


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