"A searing and profound Southern odyssey through Mississippi's past and present"--
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'This immensely thought-provoking study engages with the representation of Katrina across a variety of narrative forms — from the literary fiction of Jesmyn Ward to the cinema of Werner Herzog. In doing so, it reveals a series of compelling links between a diverse selection of texts and a powerful, under-scrutinized connection between Katrina, 9/11 and that preceding disasters divisive legacies. This is urgent yet nuanced scholarship and Keeble navigates a path through complex debates about trauma, memory and nationhood in an unfailingly articulate and insightful fashion.' — Samuel Thomas, Associate Professor in the Department of English Studies, Durham University, UK 'Bringing race, place and politics into painful focus, Arin Keebles Narratives of Hurricane Katrina in Context offers an excellent and authoritative study of Katrinas cultural legacy.' — James Annesley, Senior Lecturer in American Literature, Newcastle University, UK 'In Narratives of Hurricane Katrina in Context, Arin Keeble provides a vital examination of the "slow violence" linking cultural responses to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Approaching both events with a characteristic clearness and sensitivity, he expands a new and necessary field of studies that works harder to contextualise US responses to these "national" tragedies through the interrogative frameworks of neoliberalism, cultural trauma, and multidirectional memory.' — Rachel Sykes, Lecturer in Contemporary American Literature, University of Birmingham, UK.
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.
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).
An inspiring collection of essays by black women writers, curated by the founder of the popular book club Well-Read Black Girl, on the importance of recognizing ourselves in literature. “A brilliant collection of essential American reading . . . smart, powerful, and complete.”—Min Jin Lee, author of the National Book Award finalist Pachinko Remember that moment when you first encountered a character who seemed to be written just for you? That feeling of belonging remains with readers the rest of their lives—but not everyone regularly sees themselves in the pages of a book. In this timely anthology, Glory Edim brings together original essays by some of our best black women writers to shine a light on how important it is that we all—regardless of gender, race, religion, or ability—have the opportunity to find ourselves in literature. Contributors include Jesmyn Ward (Sing, Unburied, Sing), Lynn Nottage (Sweat), Jacqueline Woodson (Another Brooklyn), Gabourey Sidibe (This Is Just My Face), Morgan Jerkins (This Will Be My Undoing), Tayari Jones (An American Marriage), Rebecca Walker (Black, White and Jewish), and Barbara Smith (Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology) Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation. As she has done with her book club–turned–online community Well-Read Black Girl, in this anthology Glory Edim has created a space in which black women’s writing and knowledge and life experiences are lifted up, to be shared with all readers who value the power of a story to help us understand the world and ourselves. Advance praise for Well-Read Black Girl “This book is a star chart, a map readers can use to navigate the world via the minds of brilliant black women writers. The essays extol us all to regard—and to celebrate—the written word anew.”—Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House “An eloquently provocative anthology . . . Candid and thoughtful from start to finish, [Glory] Edim’s collection amply celebrates the many paths black women have traveled on the road to self-definition. . . . In each essay, the contributor discusses her relationships to reading, books, and the world, yet each bears the unique experiential imprint of the woman who wrote it.”—Kirkus Reviews