If James McBride was an athlete, instead of a musician and writer, he’d be the ultimate “double threat.” As a saxophonist, he has toured with jazz legend Jimmy Scott, among others. He has also written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., Purafe, Gary Burton, and even for the PBS television character Barney. He is the author of the National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird, the #1 bestselling American classic The Color of Water, and the bestsellers Song Yet Sung and Miracle at St. Anna. He is also the author of Kill ’Em and Leave, a James Brown biography. A recipient of the National Humanities Medal in 2016, McBride is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University. Five-Carat Soul (Riverhead Books) is his latest collection of short fiction. The stories in Five-Carat Soul—none of them ever published before—spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They’re funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic—all told with McBride’s unrivaled storytelling skill and eye for character and detail. The result is a surprising, perceptive, and evocative collection of stories that is also a moving exploration of our human condition.