Nathan McCall

Nathan McCall is an African-American author who grew up in the Cavalier Manor section of Portsmouth, Virginia.
As the stepson of a Navy man, McCall also grew up in various locations, such as Morocco and Norfolk, Virginia. After serving three years in prison, he studied journalism at Norfolk State University. He reported for the Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before moving to The Washington Post In 1989. He has dedicated his career to improving race relations in the United States.
In his first book, Makes Me Wanna Holler, McCall provides a detailed story of his life and the hardships he experienced growing up with racial profiling, class differences and peer pressure.
His second book, What's Going On, used personal essays to discuss some larger issues such as social, cultural, and political tensions that affect the modern day United States.
After the success of his books, McCall was in demand as a speaker. He left The Washington Post for the lecture circuit. Today he continues to write, and holds the post of lecturer in the Department of African-American Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
His first novel Them: A Novel, dealing with issues of gentrification in an Atlanta neighborhood, was published in 2007. Them tells the story of Barlowe Reed, a single, forty-something African-American man, who has to come to terms with the gentrification of his neighborhood, in particular the influx of white people to the area.
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The author of the bestselling memoir Makes Me Wanna Holler presents a profound debut novel -- in the tradition of Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities and Zadie Smith's White Teeth -- that captures the dynamics of class and race in today's urban integrated communities.

Nathan McCall's novel, Them, tells a compelling story set in a downtown Atlanta neighborhood known for its main street, Auburn Avenue, which once was regarded as the "richest Negro street in the world."

The story centers around Barlowe Reed, a single, forty-something African American who rents a ramshackle house on Randolph Street, just a stone's throw from the historic birth home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Barlowe, who works as a printer, otherwise passes the time reading and hanging out with other men at the corner store. He shares his home and loner existence with a streetwise, twentysomething nephew who is struggling to get his troubled life back on track.

When Sean and Sandy Gilmore, a young white couple, move in next door, Barlowe and Sandy develop a reluctant, complex friendship as they hold probing -- often frustrating -- conversations over the backyard fence.

Members of both households, and their neighbors as well, try to go about their business, tending to their homes and jobs. However, fear and suspicion build -- and clashes ensue -- with each passing day, as more and more new whites move in and make changes and once familiar people and places disappear.

Using a blend of superbly developed characters in a story that captures the essence of this country's struggles with the unsettling realities of gentrification, McCall has produced a truly great American novel.
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