Tag Archives: jesmyn ward

Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones

Bloomsbury
Paperback
288 pages • $15.00
ISBN: 978-1-60819-626-5

A Novel

Jesmyn Ward

Winner of the National Book Award

Salvage the Bones is a beautiful read. Ward’s redolent prose conjures the magic and menace of the southern landscape.”—The Dallas Morning News

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch’s father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn’t show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn’t much to save. Lately, Esch can’t keep down what food she gets; she’s fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull’s new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child’s play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that make up the novel’s framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family—motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce—pulls itself up to face another day. “[Salvage the Bones] is a gripping, tightly told tale, and a fine novel . . . This may be the best account you’ll read of Hurricane Katrina. Ward draws much of her story, its tone a wise blend of detachment and ferocity, from her own hardscrabble experiences.”—Pamela Miller, The Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Jesmyn Ward

© Mike Stanton

Jesmyn Ward grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi. Her debut novel, Where the Line Bleeds received the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Honor Award and was a finalist for both the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.

Salvage the Bones has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Christian Brothers University (TN); Florida A&M University; Hampton University (VA); Rhodes College (TN); Rocky Mountain College (MT); Salem College (NC); Vanderbilt University (TN)

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Men We Reaped

Men We Reaped

Bloomsbury
Paperback
272 pages • $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-608-19765-1

A Memoir

Jesmyn Ward

A National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee

“A brilliant book about beauty and death. The beauty is in the bodies and the voices of the young men she grew up with in the towns of coastal Mississippi, where a kind of de facto segregation persists.”—Los Angeles Times

Jesmyn’s memoir shines a light on the community she comes from, in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment. Here, in the space of four years, she lost five young men dear to her, including her beloved brother—lost to drugs, accidents, murder, and suicide. Their deaths were seemingly unconnected, yet their lives had been connected, by identity and place, and as Jesmyn dealt with these losses, she came to a staggering truth: These young men died because of who they were and the place they were from, because certain disadvantages breed a certain kind of bad luck. Because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle.

The agonizing reality commanded Jesmyn to write, at last, their true stories and her own. Men We Reaped opens up a parallel universe, yet it points to problems whose roots are woven into the soil under all our feet. “This book reminds us that life is hard, and harder still for those who have to wonder what the value of life is . . . Ward’s words are heavy, profoud, and honest. They take us beyond the news headlines that often strip young black men of their humanity.”—Antwaun Sargent, Chicago Tribune

Jesmyn Ward © Mike Stanton

© Mike Stanton

Jesmyn Ward received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the author of the novels Where the Line Bleeds and Salvage the Bones, the latter of which won the 2011 National Book Award. Ward lives DeLisle, Mississippi.

Men We Reaped has been adopted for First-Year Experience programs at:

Tulane University (LA); University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; University of Mississippi School of Medicine