Author, musician and screenwriter James McBride to speak on November 18, 2009.

Author, musician and screenwriter James McBride will share excerpts from his work during a public reading at Rider University’s Lawrenceville campus on Wednesday, November 18.

The event is part of the Rider University’s Educational Opportunity Program Distinguished Writers Series and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Bart Luedeke Center Theater.

McBride’s landmark memoir, The Color of Water, is considered an American classic and is read in schools and universities across the United States. His debut novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was made into a major motion picture directed by American film icon Spike Lee. His newest novel, Song Yet Sung, was released in paperback in January 2009.

McBride is a former staff writer for The Boston Globe, People Magazine and The Washington Post. His work has appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. His April 2007 National Geographic story entitled “Hip Hop Planet” is considered a respected treatise on African-American music and culture.

A saxophonist, McBride also tours with his six-piece jazz/R&B band, and has served as a sideman with jazz legend Jimmy Scott among others. He has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr. and Gary Burton.

McBride is a native New Yorker and a graduate of New York City public schools. He studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio and received his master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University in New York at age 22. McBride holds several honorary doctorates and is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. He is married with three children.

This year, marks the ninth annual EOP Distinguished Writers Series. Past guests have included Junot Diaz, a Pulitzer Prize winner; Ernest Gaines, a Pulitzer Prize nominee; Derek Walcott, 1992 Nobel Prize winner in literature; Edwidge Danticat, an American Book winner; and Amiri Baraka, former state poet laureate. Each summer, EOP students in English composition classes read a featured writer’s work and write critiques. Students selected for writing the best papers will be able to share their essays during an earlier session with McBride.