Tag Archives: Prizewinning

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed's new book reflects on Conroe upbringing

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Historian Annette Gordon-Reed might have left Texas, but the state has never left her mind.

“Texas is sort of a mysterious place to people,” she said. “I have been explaining Texas to people for a very long time.”

Monday night, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” sat down with Eyewitness News anchor Melanie Lawson for a discussion of her new memoir, “On Juneteenth.”

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The book weaves together American history and Gordon-Reed’s childhood memories through the lens of our newest federal holiday, which recognizes the first day of freedom for enslaved Africans in Texas and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States as a whole.

Born in a segregated East Texas in 1958, Gordon-Reed became the first Black student to attend a white school in Conroe, integrating her school district 10 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that separating students by race was unconstitutional.

“Everybody knew I was coming,” Gordon-Reed said. “There had been some threats against my family, but I don’t know if they were credible.”

Throughout the book, the National Book Award winner meditates on the double consciousness of being both Black and Texan.

She also pays homage to her neighbors who helped make our first new federal holiday in 38 years possible.

“They took this holiday with them across the country,” Gordon-Reed said. “I think we owe this to the tenacity of Texans who kept this story alive for 156 years, and in a way, I really do think it honors the ancestors of the Black people who were enslaved in Texas.”

You can watch a recap of Melanie Lawson’s interview in the video above and on your favorite streaming devices, like Roku, FireTV, AppleTV and Google TV. Just search “ABC13 Houston.”

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Author: Melanie Lawson

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Oprah Winfrey chooses four novels by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson for book club

Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for “Gilead,” the first of her books set in the fictional Iowa town of Gilead.

Apart from her work on the headline making interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Oprah Winfrey has also been busy with reading the novels of Marilynne Robinson. 

Winfrey announced Tuesday that she has selected Robinson’s acclaimed quartet of “Gilead” narratives for her next book club selection. Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for “Gilead,” the first of her books set in the fictional Iowa town of Gilead, and she has followed with “Home,” “Lila” and “Jack.”
“As I was recently reading author Marilynne Robinson’s latest novel, ‘Jack,’ I thought it would be wonderful to explore her entire Gilead universe through these four novels. I am looking forward to going on this journey with our Book Club community over the coming months,” Winfrey said in a statement. 
Robinson, whose other admirers include Winfrey’s friend former President Barack Obama, said in a statement that “Oprah Winfrey is a singular voice in this country and in the world. It is wonderful and amazing that my books will have the kind of attention only she could bring to them.”
Tuesday’s announcement continues Winfrey’s partnership with Apple, which she began in 2019 by choosing Ta-Nehisi Coates’ novel “The Water Dancer.” After announcing new picks every two to three months through the first half of 2020, she has slowed her pace; the Robinson books are her first selections since Isabel Wilkerson’s “Caste” in August. 
Apple customers wishing to learn more about why Winfrey chose Robinson’s books can now do so by asking Siri “What’s Oprah reading?” and hearing a recording of Winfrey.
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