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In Conversation

Ta-Nehisi Coates in Conversation with Oprah Winfrey: The Water Dancer

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New York Times best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates returns to the Apollo stage to kick off the national book tour for his boldly imagined first novel, The Water Dancer. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity as Special Guest Oprah Winfrey interviews Apollo Theater’s inaugral Master Artist-in-Residence. Purchase your tickets now to be among the first to witness the launch of this nation-wide tour. Each ticket includes an advanced copy of The Water Dancer.

In his latest work, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me and We Were Eight Years in Power, brings home the most intimate evil of enslavement: the cleaving and separation of families. Driven by the author’s fierce imagination and striking ability to bring readers deep into the interior lives of his brilliantly rendered characters, The Water Dancer is the story of America’s oldest struggle—the struggle to tell the truth—from one of America’s most exciting writers.

This evening will also serve as Coates’ first program as Apollo Theater’s inaugural Master Artist-in-Residence. The three-year initiative will include events on the Apollo’s iconic stage and in the Apollo’s new spaces in the Victoria Theater opening in Fall 2020.

About the Water Dancer

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.

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