In celebration of Black History Month, we’ll be highlighting a diverse range of books – poetry, novels, memoirs and more – all written by Black American authors. Each of these works moved, engaged, delighted, enraged, and excited Island Free Library readers’ this past year, and we’ll be featuring one title every day through the month of February.
Today’s work is James McBride’s Deacon King Kong, a novel both mystical and concrete that follows Shortcoat, the cranky deacon who lives at the Causes Projects in Brooklyn in the 1960s as he makes a life-changing decision. The events that lead up to this decision, the events that follow, and the cast of characters who make this corner of New York their home are pieced together in this compelling narrative that is both colorful and compassionate. For good reason, Deacon King Kong topped almost every Best Book of 2020 list and was awarded the 2021 Carnegie Medal for Fiction.
James McBride is a novelist, journalist, musician and screenwriter. His novel The Good Lord Bird was awarded the National Book Award for Fiction in 2013, and in 2015 President Obama awarded McBride the National Humanities Medal for the author’s “writings about his own uniquely American story, and his works of fiction informed by our shared history.” A Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University, McBride currently lives and writes in NYC. Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!