WHO: Jesmyn Ward
WHAT: Writer and winner of the National Book Award for her novel, Salvage the Bones; associate professor of English at Tulane University
WHEN: Born in 1977
WHERE: Grew up and currently resides in DeLisle, Mississippi
WORK WE HAVE HERE AT LC:
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race (edited by Ward): "A collection of essays addressing the history and predicament of race in an attempt to envision a better future."
Men We Reaped: "An autobiography in which [Ward] describes how she grew up in poverty in rural Mississippi, revisiting the losses of young African American men in her life, and describing her community with its history of racism and economic struggle that fosters drug addiction and the dissolution of family."
Salvage the Bones: "Pregnant fifteen-year-old Esch and her family live in Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, which puts them in the path of Hurricane Katrina, and as they try to stock the small amount of food they have in preparation for the disaster, the family's love for each other will be their only hope for survival."
“I think my love for books sprang from my need to escape the world I was born into, to slide into another where words were straightforward and honest, where there was clearly delineated good and evil, where I found girls who were strong and smart and creative and foolish enough to fight dragons, to run away from home to live in museums, to become child spies, to make new friends and build secret gardens.” (from Men We Reaped)
“And I get up because it is the only thing I can do.” (Salvage the Bones)
“The truth, as I see it, is that if black men and women, black boys and girls, mattered, if we were seen as living, we would not be dying simply because whites don't like us. Our deaths inside a system of racism existed before we were born. The legacy of black bodies as property and subsequently three-fifths human continues to pollute the white imagination. To inhabit our citizenry fully, we have to not only understand this, but also grasp it.” (The Fire This Time)