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Contemporary African American and Black British Women Writers: Narrative, Race, Ethics brings together British and American scholars to explore how, in texts by contemporary black women writers in the U. S. and Britain, formal narrative techniques express new understandings of race or stimulate ethical thinking about race in a reader. Taken together, the essays also demonstrate that black women writers from both sides of the Atlantic borrow formal structures and literary techniques from one another to describe the workings of structural racism in the daily lives of black subjects and to provoke readers to think anew about race. Narratology has only recently begun to use race as a category of narrative theory. This collection seeks both to show the ethical effects of narrative form on individual readers and to foster reconceptualizations of narrative theory that account for the workings of race within literature and culture.
The first novel from National Book Award winner and author of Sing, Unburied, Sing Jesmyn Ward, a timeless Southern fable of brotherly love and familial conflict—“a lyrical yet clear-eyed portrait of a rural South and an African-American reality that are rarely depicted” (The Boston Globe). Where the Line Bleeds is Jesmyn Ward’s gorgeous first novel and the first of three novels set in Bois Sauvage—followed by Salvage the Bones and Sing, Unburied, Sing—comprising a loose trilogy about small town sourthern family life. Described as “starkly beautiful” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), “fearless” (Essence), and “emotionally honest” (The Dallas Morning News), it was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and the Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award. Joshua and Christophe are twins, raised by a blind grandmother and a large extended family in rural Bois Sauvage, on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. They’ve just finished high school and need to find jobs, but after Katrina, it’s not easy. Joshua gets work on the docks, but Christophe’s not so lucky and starts to sell drugs. Christophe’s downward spiral is accelerated first by crack, then by the reappearance of the twins’ parents: Cille, who left for a better job, and Sandman, a dangerous addict. Sandman taunts Christophe, eventually provoking a shocking confrontation that will ultimately damn or save both twins. Where the Line Bleeds takes place over the course of a single, life-changing summer. It is a delicate and closely observed portrait of fraternal love and strife, of the relentless grind of poverty, of the toll of addiction on a family, and of the bonds that can sustain or torment us. Bois Sauvage, based on Ward’s own hometown, is a character in its own right, as stiflingly hot and as rich with history as it is bereft of opportunity. Ward’s “lushly descriptive prose…and her prodigious talent and fearless portrayal of a world too often overlooked” (Essence) make this novel an essential addition to her incredible body of work.
A revelatory, uplifting, and gorgeously illustrated meditation on dedication, hard work, and the power of perseverance from the beloved, New York Times bestselling, and two-time National Book Award–winning Jesmyn Ward. For Tulane University’s 2018 commencement, Jesmyn Ward delivered a stirring speech about the value of hard work and the importance of respect for oneself and others. Speaking about the challenges she and her family overcame, Ward inspired everyone in the audience with her meditation on tenacity in the face of hardship. Ward’s moving words will inspire readers as they prepare for the next chapter in their lives, whether, like Ward, they are the first in their families to graduate from college or are preceded by generations, or whether they are embarking on a different kind of journey later in life. Beautifully illustrated in full color by Gina Triplett, this gorgeous and profound book will charm a generation of students—and their parents. Ward’s inimitable voice shines through as she shares her experience as a Southern black woman and addresses the themes of grit, adversity, and the importance of family bonds. Navigate Your Stars is a perfect gift for anyone in need of inspiration from the author of Salvage the Bones, Men We Reaped, and Sing, Unburied, Sing.
From the earliest slave narratives to modern fiction by the likes of Colson Whitehead and Jesmyn Ward, African American authors have drawn on African spiritual practices as literary inspiration, and as a way to maintain a connection to Africa. This volume has collected new essays about the multiple ways African American authors have incorporated Voodoo, Hoodoo and Conjure in their work. Among the authors covered are Frederick Douglass, Shirley Graham, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ntozake Shange, Rudolph Fisher, Jean Toomer, and Ishmael Reed.
Winner of the National Book Award Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award winner and author of Sing, Unburied, Sing, delivers a gritty but tender novel about family and poverty in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. 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.
'And then we heard the rain falling and that was the blood falling; and when we came to get in the crops, it was dead men that we reaped' Harriet Tubman Jesmyn Ward's acclaimed 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 black men dear to her, including her beloved brother – to accidents, murder and suicide. Their deaths were seemingly unconnected, yet their lives had been connected by identity and place. As Jesmyn dealt with these losses, she came to a staggering truth: the fates of these young men were predetermined by who they were and where they were from, because racism and economic struggle breed a certain kind of bad luck. The agonising reality brought Jesmyn to write, at last, their true stories and her own.
The Palgrave Handbook of Magical Realism in the Twenty-First Century examines magical realism in literatures from around the globe. Featuring twenty-seven essays written by leading scholars, this anthology argues that literary expressions of magical realism proliferate globally in the twenty-first century due to travel and migrations, the shrinking of time and space, and the growing encroachment of human life on nature. In this global context, magical realism addresses twenty-first-century politics, aesthetics, identity, and social/national formations where contact between and within cultures has exponentially increased, altering how communities and nations imagine themselves. This text assembles a group of critics throughout the world—the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia—who employ multiple theoretical approaches to examine the different ways magical realism in literature has transitioned to a global practice; thus, signaling a new stage in the history and development of the genre.
'Just the immersive read to lose yourself in' Stylist 'A gorgeous book, compulsively readable’ Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied, Sing They loved the others more than they had loved anyone before, more than they would ever love anyone else on earth, they were certain An accident. A kiss. A bite. Some mistakes change everything. When Lainey, Margaret, Ji Sun and Alice find themselves sharing a dorm in their freshman year at college, it feels like fate. They are young, transcendent, in love. As their lives become braided together, both at college and into adulthood as young mothers, their friendships are forced to endure dangerous threats - from the dark forests of their childhood, from each other, and from themselves. For each of them will make a terrible mistake. A compulsive page-turner of a novel, The Other's Gold is a bittersweet ode to lifelong friendship, and to what it means to forgive another - even when you can't forgive yourself. Elizabeth Ames is a graduate of the University of Michigan MFA program, where she won the Hopwood Award. Her short stories have appeared in Ninth Letter and Third Coast. She currently lives in a Harvard dormitory with her husband, toddler, and a few hundred undergraduates. This is her first novel.
A surprise New York Times bestseller, these groundbreaking essays and poems about race—collected by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and written by the most important voices of her generation—are “thoughtful, searing, and at times, hopeful. The Fire This Time is vivid proof that words are important, because of their power to both cleanse and to clarify” (USA TODAY). In this bestselling, widely lauded collection, Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. “An absolutely indispensable anthology” (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Time shines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future. Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin’s groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, these contemporary writers reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. We’ve made significant progress in the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essays were published, but America is a long and painful distance away from a “post-racial society”—a truth we must confront if we are to continue to work towards change. Baldwin’s “fire next time” is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about; The Fire This Time “seeks to place the shock of our own times into historical context and, most importantly, to move these times forward” (Vogue).