Isabel Wilkerson won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her reporting as Chicago bureau chief of The New York Times. The award made her the first black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African American to win for individual reporting. She won the George Polk Award for her coverage of the Midwest and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for her research into the Great Migration. She has lectured on narrative writing at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and has served as Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University and as the James M. Cox Jr. Professor of Journalism at Emory University. She is currently Professor of Journalism and Director of Narrative Nonfiction at Boston University. During the Great Migration, her parents journeyed from Georgia and southern Virginia to Washington, D.C., where she was born and reared. This is her first book.
"A landmark piece of nonfiction . . . [Isabel Wilkerson's] closeness with, and profound affection for, her subjects reflect her deep immersion in their stories and allow the reader to share that connection."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"A brilliant and stirring epic, the first book to cover
the full half-century of the Great Migration . . . Wilkerson
combines impressive research . . . with great narrative and
literary power. Ms. Wilkerson does for the Great Migration what
John Steinbeck did for the Okies in his fiction masterpiece, The
Grapes of Wrath; she humanizes history, giving it emotional and
psychological depth."--John Stauffer, The Wall Street Journal
"[A] massive and masterly account of the Great Migration . . . a
narrative epic rigorous enough to impress all but the crankiest of
scholars, yet so immensely readable as to land the author a future
place on Oprah's couch."--David Oshinsky, The New York Times
Book Review "[A] deeply affecting, finely crafted and heroic book .
. . This is narrative nonfiction, lyrical and tragic and fatalist.
The story exposes; the story moves; the story ends. What Wilkerson
urges, finally, isn't argument at all; it's compassion. Hush, and
listen."--Jill Lepore, The New Yorker "Told in a voice that
echoes the magic cadences of Toni Morrison or the folk wisdom of
Zora Neale Hurston's collected oral histories, Wilkerson's book
pulls not just the expanse of the migration into focus but its
overall impact on politics, literature, music, sports--in the
nation and the world."--Lynell George, Los Angeles Times
"[An] extraordinary and evocative work."--The Washington Post "Mesmerizing."--Chicago Tribune "Scholarly but very readable, this book, for all its rigor, is so absorbing, it should come with a caveat: Pick it up only when you can lose yourself entirely."--O: The Oprah Magazine "[An] indelible and compulsively readable portrait of race, class, and politics in twentieth-century America. History is rarely distilled so finely."--Entertainment Weekly "Astonishing . . . Isabel Wilkerson delivers! . . . With the precision of a surgeon, Wilkerson illuminates the stories of bold, faceless African-Americans who transformed cities and industries with their hard work and determination to provide their children with better lives."--Essence "Profound, necessary and an absolute delight to read."--Toni Morrison "A sweeping and yet deeply personal tale of America's hidden twenteith-century history. This is an epic for all Americans who want to understand the making of our modern nation."--Tom Brokaw "A seminal work of narrative nonfiction . . . You will never forget these people."--Gay Talese "This book will be long remembered, and savored."--Jon Meacham "A masterful narrative of the rich wisdom and deep courage of a great people. Don't miss it!"--Cornel West