Men We Reaped

Men We Reaped Cover

Men We Reaped

A Memoir

By Jesmyn Ward

Bloomsbury USA, Paperback, 9781608197651, 272pp.

Publication Date: September 16, 2014


Universally praised, Jesmyn Ward's "Men We Reaped" confirmed her ascendancy as a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, her Southern requiem securing its place on bestseller and best books of the year lists, with honors and awards pouring in from around the country.

Jesmyn's memoir shines a light on the community she comes from, in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment. Here, in the space of four years, she lost five young men dear to her, including her beloved brother-lost to drugs, accidents, murder, and suicide. Their deaths were seemingly unconnected, yet their lives had been connected, by identity and place, and as Jesmyn dealt with these losses, she came to a staggering truth: These young men died because of who they were and the place they were from, because certain disadvantages breed a certain kind of bad luck. Because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle. The agonizing reality commanded Jesmyn to write, at last, their true stories and her own.

"Men We Reaped "opens up a parallel universe, yet it points to problems whose roots are woven into the soil under all our feet. This indispensable American memoir is destined to become a classic.

About the Author
Jesmyn Ward grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi. She received her BA and MA from Stanford University and her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she received five Hopwood Awards. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and the John and Renee Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is the author of the novels, "Where the Line Bleeds" and "Salvage the Bones"; the memoir, "Men We Reaped"; and the editor of "The Fire This Time". Ward is currently at work on her third novel and is an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She lives in Mississippi.

Praise For Men We Reaped

"An important, and perhaps even essential, book." —San Francisco Chronicle

"[Ward] chronicles our American story in language that is raw, beautiful and dangerous… [Her] singular voice and her full embrace of her anger and sorrow set this work apart from those that have trodden similar ground." —The New York Times Book Review

"Heart-wrenching… A brilliant book about beauty and death… at once a coming-of-age story and a kind of mourning song… filled [with] intimate and familial moments, each described with the passion and precision of the polished novelist Ward has become… Ward is one of those rare writers who’s traveled across America’s deepening class rift with her sense of truth intact." —Los Angeles Times

"A memoir that is as searing as her fiction, as poignant and as timely... in a country that is supposed to be post racial but still seems hell-bent on the epidemic destruction of young black men." —Edwidge Danticat, The Progressive