Nathan McCall was born in Norfolk, Va. One of five children, he graduated from Manor High School in Portsmouth and attended Norfolk State University, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism in 1981. Nathan has worked as a reporter for The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star in Norfolk, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Washington Post, where he worked until taking a leave of absence to write his best selling autobiography, Makes Me Wanna Holler, A Young Black Man in America.
Makes Me Wanna Holler was a New York Times bestseller and won the Blackboard Book of the Year Award for 1995. In praise of Makes Me Wanna Holler, noted scholar Henry Louis Gates wrote, “Sooner of later every generation must find its voice. It may be that ours belongs to Nathan McCall, whose memoir is…a stirring tale of transformation. He is a mesmerizing storyteller.”
In 1997, McCall published his second book, What’s Going On, a series of essays about race relations in America.
Nathan McCall made his fiction debut in 2007 with the publication of Them, (Atria Books), a timely and penetrating story of Barlowe Reed, an African-American whose attempt to buy the rundown house he rents in an historic black neighborhood is confounded by the sudden appearance of whites abandoning the suburbs for the inner city. Over time, blacks and whites are drawn into wrenching neighborhood power struggles as they wrestle with alien world-views and the unsettling realities of gentrification.
Them was cited by Publishers Weekly as one of the best books of 2007. In 2008, the novel reached No. 1 on the Essence magazine bestseller list. Also, Them was a finalist for the 2008 Townsend Prize for Fiction, awarded to an outstanding novel or short-story collection published by a Georgia writer during the past two years. Additionally, Them was nominated for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence and a finalist for the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Debut Fiction.
McCall serves as a senior lecturer in the African American Studies Department at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.