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September 20 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Booksmith is thrilled to have Jesmyn Ward in the store for her latest novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing. Please join us!
Carrying the torch of Faulkner and As I Lay Dying, Sing, Unburied, Sing tells the emotional journey taken by Leonie, a single mother addicted to drugs, her son Jojo, 13, and his toddler sister, Kayla—who have been raised by their grandparents Pap, who tries to teach Jojo how to be a man, and Mam, who is sick with cancer—to Parchman Farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary where Jojo and Kayla’s white father is being released from prison. Ghosts and spirits hover over Ward’s narrative, which hums with ambition, complexity, heartache, rich visuals, and violence.
In Sing, Unburied, Sing, Ward shows us life on the gulf coast of Mississippi—lush and menacing and marked by a precise rural vernacular—and life within a family weighted by history and poverty but bonded by love. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, it is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature by a writer at the top of her game.
Jesmyn Ward received her MFA from the University of Michigan and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the author of the novelsWhere the Line Bleeds and Salvage the Bones, which won the 2011 National Book Award. She is also the editor of the anthology The Fire This Time and the author of the memoirMen We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. From 2008-2010, Ward had a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University. She was the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi for the 2010-2011 academic year. In 2016, the American Academy of Arts and Letters selected Ward for the Strauss Living Award. She lives in Mississippi.