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Salvage the Bones
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About the Author

Jesmyn Ward received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the editor of the anthology The Fire This Time and the author of the memoir Men We Reaped and the novels Where the Line Bleeds and National Book Award-winning Sing, Unburied, Sing. A 2017 MacArthur Fellow in Fiction, Ward lives in DeLisle, Mississippi.

Reviews

"A taut, wily novel, smartly plotted and voluptuously written. It feels fresh and urgent, but it's an ancient, archetypal tale . . . Jesmyn Ward makes beautiful music, plays deftly with her reader's expectations." - Parul Sehgal, New York Times Book Review

"Ward tells the story with a tense patience, marking day after day; when the storm comes, overturning everything, it feels like a fatal relief. At least the waiting's over. Salvage the Bones expands our understanding of Katrina's devastation, beyond the pictures of choked rooftops in New Orleans and toward the washed-out, feral landscapes elsewhere along the coast." - New Yorker

"There's something of Faulkner to Ward's grand diction, which rolls between teenspeak . . . and the larger, incantatory rhythms of myth. She's fearless about her passion coming out purple, and for the most part the intensity of her story carries it off." - The Paris Review

"I've just read [Salvage the Bones], and it'll be a long time before its magic wears off . . . [a] fiercely poetic novel . . . What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico . . . Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy . . . A palpable sense of desire and sorrow animates every page here . . . Salvage the Bones has the aura of a classic about it." - Ron Charles, the Washington Post

"Strikingly beautiful, taut, relentless and, by its end, indelible . . . Ward stares down the truth . . . It's astonishingly brave." - Joan Frank, San Francisco Chronicle

"Salvage the Bones is an intense book, with powerful, direct prose that dips into poetic metaphor . . . the story is told with such immediacy and openness . . . That close-knit familial relationship is vivid and compelling, drawn with complexities and detail." - Los Angeles Times

"The novel's hugeness of heart and fierceness of family grip and hold on like Skeetah's pit bull." - Ellen Feldman, O, the Oprah Magazine

"Where the Line Bleeds was an Essence Magazine Book Club selection, a Black Caucus of the ALA Honor Award recipient, and a finalist for both the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award."

"A fresh new voice in American literature, Ward unflinchingly describes a world full of despair but not devoid of hope." - PW Starred review for Where the Line Bleeds

"Her prodigious talent and fearless portrayal of a world too often overlooked make her novel a powerful choice." - Essence for Where the Line Bleeds

"A richly textured tale...like the best fiction, it creates its own world." - Susan Larson, N.O. Times-Picayune for Where the Line Bleeds

"A remarkable first novel...a lyrical, clear-eyed portrait of a rural South and an African-American reality that are rarely depicted." - Boston Globe for Where the Line Bleeds

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