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James McBride: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

(Fiction, 385 pp., 2023)

The mystery revealed in the first pages of The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store foreshadows the rich, knotty, and fantastical legacy marking the downtrodden Jewish and Black community of 1920s Chicken Hill in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. McBride (author of The Color of Water) captures the shared vulnerability and humanityand some cross-cultural angst and superstitionwithin the interdependent world inhabited by grocery store owner Chona, her impresario husband Moshe, and their Black neighbors. Protecting and rescuing the most at risk among them depends on everyone’s resolve and resourcefulness.


Discussion Questions from Penguin Random House, 2023

Review by Maureen Corrigan, James McBride’s Heaven & Earth is an all-American mix of prejudice and hope, Fresh Air on National Public Radio, August 14, 2023

Review by Danez Smith, James McBride’s Latest Is a Murder Mystery Inside a Great American Novel, The New York Times, Sept. 6, 2023

Review by Kirkus Reviews, May 9, 2023

Review by Ron Charles, James McBride’s New Novel Entertains While Getting Deep About Equality, The Washington Post, August 3, 2023.

Review by Publishers Weekly, June 7, 2023

Review by Jenni Shank, Two Communities Unite in The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 3, 2023

Review by Thornwell Books, n.d.

Reviews collection by Book Marks, n.d.

Author Interview with Jeffrey Brown, PBS Newshour, August 8, 2023

Author Interview with Sydney Paige, How a Camp for Kids with Disabilities Inspired James McBride’s Novel, The Washington Post, September 23, 2023