2005 Falmouth Reads Together
About the book: The Color of Water tells the remarkable story of Ruth McBride Jordan, the two good men she married, and the 12 good children she raised. Jordan, born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew, immigrated to America soon after birth; as an adult she moved to New York City, leaving her family and faith behind in Virginia. The book is a success story, a testament to one woman’s true heart, solid values, and indomitable will. Ruth Jordan battled not only racism but also poverty to raise her children and, despite being sorely tested, never wavered. In telling her story–along with her son’s–The Color of Water addresses racial identity with compassion, insight, and realism.
“I asked her if I was black or white. She replied “You are a human being. Educate yourself or you’ll be a nobody!”
About the author: James McBride studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and received a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. He was a staff writer for The Boston Globe, People Magazine, and The Washington Post. His works include the memoir The Color of Water, the biography Kill ‘Em and Leave, and two novels entitled Miracle at St. Anna and Song Yet Sung. He wrote the screenplay for Miracle at St. Anna when it was made into a movie in 2008. He won the National Book Award for The Good Lord Bird.