Greenwich Reads Together

The novel Deacon King Kong by James McBride has been selected by the Greenwich community for Greenwich Reads Together 2021.  Greenwich Reads Together (GRT) is a community-wide reading experience which engages all of Greenwich in exploring a designated book(s), and through reading & discussion to build community connections. The Greenwich Alliance is a member of the GRT steering committee along with the Greenwich Library, Greenwich Public Schools and other organizations in town. For more information about the book, reading/discussion guides and film & music suggestions for further exploration, visit


Deacon King Kong by James McBride

Deacon King Kong is a funny, moving novel that begins when a fumbling, cranky old church deacon, known as Sportcoat, shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn in 1969 and pulls a .38 from his pocket. In front of everybody, he shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range. The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King KongAs the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters, caught in the tumultuous era of 1960s New York, overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

GRT Author, James McBride

James McBride is an award-winning author, musician, and screenwriter. His landmark memoir, The Color of Water, published in 1996, has sold millions of copies and spent more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list. Considered an American classic, it is read in schools and universities across the United States. His debut novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was turned into a 2008 film by Oscar-winning writer and director Spike Lee, with a script written by McBride. His 2013 novel, The Good Lord Bird, about American abolitionist John Brown, won the National Book Award for Fiction. McBride has toured as a saxophonist sideman with jazz legend Jimmy Scott and other musicians. He has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., Pura Fén and Gary Burton. McBride is a native New Yorker and a graduate of New York City public schools.


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