Inspired by a historical incident that took place in the village of St. Anna di Stazzema in Tuscany and by the experiences of the famed Buffalo Soldiers of the 92nd Division in Italy during World War 11, Miracle at St. Anna is a singular evocation of war, cruelty, passion, heroism, and love. It is the story of four American soldiers, the villagers among whom they take refuge, a band of partisans, and an Italian boy, all of whom encounter a miracle -- though perhaps the true miracle lies in themselves.
Traversing class, race, and geography, Miracle at St. Anna is above,, all a hymn to the brotherhood of man and the power to do good that lives in each of us. It reveals a little-known but fascinating moment in history through the eyes and imagination of a gifted writer. Like The Color of Water, James McBride's stunning' first novel will change the way we perceive ourselves and our world.
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In Miracle at St. Anna, James McBride, author of the bestselling memoir The Color of Water, tells a war story that, like all great tales of conflict, connects the enormous tragedy of war with the intimate stories of individual soldiers. Miracle at St. Anna vividly follows four of the U.S. Army's 92nd Division of all-black buffalo soldiers as they become trapped between forces beyond their control and between worlds. Three of the soldiers have bolted behind enemy lines to rescue their comrade, the colossal, but simple, Private Sam Train. They find themselves stranded between worlds in a remote central Italian village, with the German Army hidden on one side and their racist and largely mismanaged American commanding officers on the other. The strange world of the village floats between myth and reality, where belief in magic coexists with the most horrific acts of war. In the melee that opens the book, the giant Sam Train suddenly comes to believe he can turn invisible, the local miser believes he is cursed with a wealth of rabbits, and each of the other soldiers also exists in a mythical world of his own. But they are all about to be shattered by the Miracle.
McBride illuminates an ironic moment in American history, a time when black soldiers fought bravely for the country whose "freedoms" included Jim Crow laws, segregation, and institutional and widespread personal racism. Miracle at St. Anna puts these intimate stories at the center of the much larger story of the struggle of people of color in this country. Each character is trapped and forced to act as nobly and as bravely as he can in the midst of forces beyond not only his control, but beyond his world. --Paul FordAbout the Author:
James McBride is an award-winning writer and musician. His memoir and tribute to his mother, The Color of Water, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than two years, was published worldwide and won the prestigious Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. As a composer McBride has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., and Gary Burton; he received the American Music Theater Festival's Stephen Sondheim Award for his jazz/pop musical Bobos. He lives in Pennsylvania.
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