Salvage the Bones

By Jesmyn Ward
(Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, Hardcover, 9781608195220, 261pp.)

Publication Date: August 30, 2011

List Price: $24.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the September 2011 Indie Next List
“Ward writes with a power and depth of feeling that is both rare and exhilarating. Her novel about 12 days in the life of a poor black family living on the Mississippi coast as a hurricane gathers in the gulf displays the gifts of a writer with exceptional skill and no fear. The characters seem almost to claw their way off the pages, so vividly has Jesmyn Ward created them. This is a novel of flesh and blood, heart and soul, dreams and terrors that I will not soon forget.”
-- Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT


Description

Winner of the 2011 National Book Award

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. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, "Salvage the Bones" is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.




About the Author
Jesmyn Ward grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won five Hopwood awards for essays, drama, and fiction. A Stegner Fellow at Stanford, from 2008-2010, she has been named the 2010-11 Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. Her debut novel, "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.


NPR
Monday, Dec 5, 2011

Jesmyn Ward's novel adopts a teen's perspective, showing how one black Mississippi family endured poverty, sexual abuse and violence, and then braved Hurricane Katrina. Salvage The Bones won the 2011 National Book Award for fiction. Ward speaks with host Michel Martin. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Thursday, Nov 17, 2011

Stephen Greenblatt's The Swerve, a dramatic account of the Renaissance-era rediscovery of the Latin poet Lucretius, won for nonfiction. Salvage the Bones, set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, by Jesmyn Ward, won for fiction. More at NPR.org

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