Sing, Unburied, Sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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"A searing and profound Southern odyssey by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward. In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, this singular American writer brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first-century America. Drawing on Morrison and Faulkner, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, Ward gives us an epochal story, a journey through Mississippi's past and present that is both an intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Ward is a major American writer, multiply awarded and universally lauded, and in Sing, Unburied, Sing she is at the height of her powers. Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and the occasional presence of their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on a farm on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she's high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie's children is released from prison, she packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out across the state for Parchman farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary, on a journey rife with danger and promise. Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward's distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature"-- Provided by publisher.
Living with his grandparents and sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his mother's addictions and his grandmother's cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope.
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, 2017
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501126093
Characteristics: 1 online resource (289 pages)
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks


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List - Best of 2017
RCPL_Librarians Nov 26, 2017


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Dec 02, 2017

On NYT Ten Best Books of 2017 List.

Oct 29, 2017

This third novel from National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward ("Salvage the Bones") is about parents and children, the weight of history, the way the past crashes into the present, and the legacy of racism. It's a complex, ambitious, and challenging book and one of the best I've read this year. Ward's themes and writing recall greats like Faulkner and Morrison, but the novel feels very much of our time, especially in its treatment of race and racism.

Nicr Oct 27, 2017

"It's all happening at once. All of it. We all here at once." Ghosts walk and are seen; animals speak and are heard. An extraordinary book.

Oct 23, 2017

"He wasn't nothing but a boy, Jojo. They kill animals better than that."

I can't recall where I came across Jesmyn Ward's latest novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing (probably Well-Read Black Girl's instagram page); but I am so glad that I did. This novel captivated me from beginning to end. I loved the story and the characters and their complicated lives. I love how Ward balanced the contemporary and history, weaving together a story that both the young & old can appreciate. I am thankful that I held onto this book 2 days past its due date at my local library lol; just so I could fulfill my commitment to reading it. I highly recommend this novel to anyone that enjoys stories whose plots address our troubled past as a country and how it still affects us in the present.

Oct 15, 2017

Told principally by JoJo, a teenage boy, and his mother, Leonie, in alternating chapters, we hear a lyrical family story set in Gulf Coast Mississippi after the Deepwater Horizon explosion when Leonie ventures upstate to pick-up her children’s father Michael who is being released from prison.

Wondrously told, the author blends the family’s past and present seamlessly, keeping the story’s momentum to its end. Characters are true to life, JoJo’s grandparents have such humanity and love fiercely. No wonder there’s all the buzz for this book short-listed for the National Book Award.

Oct 14, 2017

Fabulous book. It seems the voices and stories of African and Native American stories have been bottled up and aged for so long, that they are now superb vintages for our terrible times. Ms Ward is a great writer, poet really, the lyricism and truth telling so beautifully voiced.

Sep 29, 2017

Another recommended book (although I forget where the recommendation came from) that I really enjoyed. A sad tale that is beautifully written about a family in the Mississippi Delta. The story is told from the point-of-view of both the son (JoJo, a thirteen year old boy) and the mother (Leonie, a drug abuser). It is a story of trying to find a place of love, belonging and home. It was powerful, heartbreaking and meaningful. I would give it a 8 out of 10.

Sep 26, 2017

I listened to this book via audiobook. I found it boring and pedantic. Maybe it was the reader. I really tried to appreciate the positive comments from other reviewers but I just didn't.

Sep 15, 2017

This book is a beauty - rich, deep, and slow, with a touch of bitterness, like fine, dark chocolate. The language is superb, the imagery supports and binds the message effortlessly within the story.

Highly recommended.

LPL_KateG Sep 14, 2017

Jesmyn Ward is the queen of capturing smooth, Southern voices and weaving them into luscious and emotional tales.

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