James McBride (writer) Writing Styles in The Color of Water

James McBride (writer)
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Perspective

James McBride decided to write this book as a way of making sense of his life and his identity. He also wanted to sing his mother's praises. When he was a reporter, he began investigating his mother's past. He went to her hometown and interviewed acquaintances. He dug up old documents like death certificates, passports and census records. He found old friends of Ruth's and asked them about her life. Most importantly, he interviewed his mother and got her to talk about her past.

Every other chapter is written from James's point of view, recalling events and stories from his childhood and explaining his coming of age. The alternate chapters are written from Ruth's point of view, in her voice, and the voice is distinctive. Both voices are written in the first person, which adds to the intimacy of the stories.

McBride writes from an adult's perspective, but...

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This section contains 612 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Color of Water Study Guide
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