Inprint launches the 2013/2014 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series with two celebrated writers Robert Boswell and James McBride, reading from their new novels Tumbledown and The Good Lord Bird. Robert Boswell is, according to Richard Ford, “an extremely appealing writer: uncommonly intuitive, a sparkling observer, graceful yet surprising sentence-to-sentence; and always in pursuit of important complexity in human behavior—a rare gift, which makes his writing increasingly essential.” The co-holder of the Cullen Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Houston with his wife Antonya Nelson, Boswell is the author of seven novels, including Mystery Ride (named a best book of the year by the Chicago Tribune and Publishers Weekly), The Geography of Desire (name a best book of the year by The Independent of London), and Crooked Hearts (made into a film starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Cindy Pickett); three story collections, including The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards, in which Boswell “conveys the sordid but hopeful inner lives of average people with insight and care” (Publishers Weekly); a play; and two nonfiction books, including The Half-Known World, a book on the craft of writing. Publishers Weekly (in a starred review) calls Tumbledown “a crowded, tender, and captivating novel, the experience of which brings to the fore how reading itself can replenish our love of the imperfect beauty of humanity.” James McBride’s memoir The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother—which according to Bebe Moore Campbell “evokes his childhood trek across the great racial divide with the kind of power and grace that touches and uplifts all hearts”—spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and is considered an American classic. McBride is the author of three novels, including Miracle at St. Anna, about African American soldiers fighting in Italy during WWII, which was made into a film by Spike Lee; and Song Yet Sung, which Kirkus Reviews calls “a myth of retribution and sacrifice that recalls both William Faulkner’s sagas of blighted generations and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. Explosively dramatic.” According to Publishers Weekly (also in a starred review), The Good Lord Bird—which follows the pre-Civil War exploits of abolitionist John Brown through the eyes of a 10-year old freed slave named Henry Shackleford—is “outrageously funny, sad, and consistently unflattering, … put[ting] a human face on a nation at its most divided.” McBride, also a jazz saxophonist and composer, has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington, Jr., and Barney, among others.