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Jesmyn Ward Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Where the Line Bleeds (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Salvage the Bones (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Men We Reaped (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fire This Time (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

There is a laundry list of reasons why notable writers started pursuing their occupations. This ranges from being influenced by literary figures to a pastime. There is a breed of writers who were prompted to start writing by spur-of-the-moment actions. On sober reflection, some career paths are ordained by fate if you consider the inspiration behind Jesmyn Ward’s writing ambition. But first things first; meet the American woman of letters called Jesmyn Ward.

Jesmyn Ward, who is a novelist-cum-essayist and doubles up as a memoirist, was born in 1977. Her birthplace is DeLisle upon Mississippi, in the US. She also spent her formative years in yonder place, and would also, years later, reside there. Ward studied creative writing at the University of Michigan before winning a fellowship to the coveted Stanford University. She has also been a writer in residence at University of Mississippi, courtesy of a John and Renee Grisham fellowship. Currently, Ward, who is an associate professor at Tulane University, teaches English.

Jesmyn Ward has had a problematic life ranging from school bullying to experiencing thee disastrous Hurricane Katrina, upon which some of his work is based. But possibly the lowest moment of her life, albeit life-changing, was when a person driving under influence knocked down and killed her brother. And thus Ward resolved to write. Her writing ambition was three-pronged. First and foremost, she started writing as a way of paying tribute to her late brother. Secondly, she saw it as an avenue of doing a meaningful thing in life. Third, she wanted to narrate the lives of the downtrodden, especially the black Americans, living in the South.

Descriptions of Two Early Books
And thus Jesmyn Ward debuted in December 2006. Her debut book is titled Where the Line Bleeds. This book is shelved as literary fiction, African American, and contemporary fiction genres. The second book is titled Salvage the Bones which was published initially published in August 2010. This book is cataloged under the Young Adult, African American, and Coming of Age genres.

On the one hand, Where the Line Bleeds, is set in the backdrop of DeLisle, the hometown of Jesmyn Ward. What’s more, the characterization is based on the town. Hereby, the featured protagonists are Joshua DeLisle and Christophe DeLisle. Incidentally, both of them are twin brothers and have absentee parents. Their mother, who desired life on the fast lane, left them and relocated to Atlanta City. Their father left them too, and his life has been revolving around drugs and imprisonment. Consequently, their beloved grandmother stepped into the shoes of the absconding parents; they have a strong bond with the elderly woman whose health is presently deteriorating.

There are relatively lesser job prospects hard on the heels of the Hurricane Katrina. As such, the brothers make do with what they get. Both Joshua and Christophe have different occupations. Joshua is a dock worker while Christopher is a drug peddler. Joshua greatly disapproves of his brother Christophe’s drug dealing, something that drives a wedge between their brotherly love. Then out of the blue, their absentee father resurfaces, leading to a face-off which might doom or salvage them.

On the other hand, Salvage the Bones, is set in a fictitious Mississippi Gulf coastal neighborhood called Bois Savage in the run-up to the disastrous Hurricane Katrina. Again, author Jesmyn Ward revisits her experience of the hurricane, albeit largely infused with fictitious accounts. This book revolves around the Esch household. The family comprises of an absentee-cum-alcoholic father, a pregnant teenage called Esch, and three other siblings named Skeetah, Randal, and Junior.

As the hurricane draws nearer, the children are racing against time to preserve food, save their homestead, offer moral support to one another, and save their dogs before the hurricane wreaks havoc.

Jesmyn Ward Awards
Jesmyn Ward is a five-time winner of Hopwood Award which was proffered by the University of Michigan, courtesy of her literary endeavors while schooling. Her books have also clinched notable awards and been nominated for other prestigious ones. In 2016, Ward clinched the Strauss Living Award. In 2011, Ward’s debut book clinched the National Book Awards in the Fiction category; in 2012, the said book also clinched the Alex Award. Ward clinched The First Novelist Award, which was given by Virginia Commonwealth University, for the 2006 book Where the Line Bleeds.

The following are some of the most notable nominations. They include Hurston/Wright Legacy, New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction, Dayton Literary Prize, and National Book Critics Circle awards.

Best Jesmyn Ward Books
Where the Line Bleeds, Salvage the Bones, and Men We Reaped are the best three books in Jesmyn Ward’s bibliography. The first two books have been extensively described in the previous section. Men We Reaped is the third book published by Ward. Initially published in 2013, this is a memoir in which the author is wondering why her brother and other close friends’ lives were nipped in the bud. Ward observes that, on face value, they might have died from a road accident, succumbed to drugs and a plethora of suchlike reasons which claim the lives of poor black Americans. However, she has a light bulb moment where she realizes that their lives were ill-fated; damned and doomed by socioeconomic factors.

Other Books You May Like
The following books resonated on the same frequency as those penned by Jesmyn Ward by virtue of being selected by her readers. The first one is titled The Last Brother, penned by Nathacha Appanah. The story line revolves around especially two underage boys, David and Raj, both in a hospital section of a Mauritius prison camp. David, a Jewish refugee, is assisted by Raj, son of a prison guard, to escape after a storm hits Mauritius. The second one is entitled Ten North Frederick, authored by John O’Hara. First published in 1955, this book chronicles the lives of an American called Joe Chaplain who is hoping to ascend to the presidency, together with his elegant-cum-beautiful wife, defiant kids, and his other woman.

The third one is called If Sons, Then Heirs and is penned by Lorene Cary. Published in 2011, it revisits segregation in the US, where generations of African Americans have had damnable lives.

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