Sing, Unburied, Sing

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Large Print - 2017
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Ward (Salvage the Bones) tells the story of three generations of a struggling Mississippi family in this astonishing novel. "We don't walk no straight lines. It's all happening at once. All of it. We all here at once." This is the explanation 13-year-old Jojo is provided by his grandmother, the family matriarch, on her deathbed. "I'll be on the other side of the door," she reassures him, "With everybody else that's gone before." Jojo and his little sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, while Leonie, their mother, drifts in and out of their lives, causing chaos. Snorting coke one night, Leonie explains, "A clean burning shot through my bones, and then I forgot. The shoes I didn't buy, the melted cake ..." Leonie wants to be a better mother, and when Jojo's and Kayla's father is released from prison, Leonie takes the kids with her, hoping for a loving reunion, but what she gets instead is a harrowing drive across a muggy landscape haunted by hatred. Throughout the novel, though, are beautifully crafted moments of tenderness. When the dead, including Leonie's murdered brother, make their appearances and their demands, no one in the family's surprised. But their stories are deeply affecting, in no small part because of Ward's brilliant writing and compassionate eye. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Wheeler Publishing, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2017.
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781432846527
Branch Call Number: LARGE PRINT WARD J
Characteristics: 367 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
large print.


From Library Staff

Nominee, Fiction

LPL_KateG Sep 14, 2017

Jesmyn Ward is the queen of capturing smooth, Southern voices and weaving them into luscious and emotional tales.

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AL_ANNAL Mar 17, 2018

A moving story, beautifully written. One cannot ignore or discount the legacy of slavery and our history of terrible discrimination after reading this. Love, nurturing, and dysfunction within a multi-generational family give this book its heart.

Mar 15, 2018

I really enjoyed this book, and could not put it down, despite the content. It made me uncomfortable, (but isn't that what great literature does at times? Makes us uncomfortable!) It is a hard book to recommend, but I highly recommend it.

Mar 13, 2018

This was one of the most difficult books I have read recently and also one of the best. With lyrical prose and incredible insight the authors links the ghosts of our racist past with the desperation of a present day dysfunctional family, literal ghosts. She touches on the power of the sibling bond, the unconditional love grandparents have for their grandchildren, the mother- daughter bond, an imperfect mother who can't put her children's need above her own, and a interracial marriage in the south, and evil of the jim crow south. I can't praise this book enough

samcmar Mar 09, 2018

This was such a tense read. I found myself so absorbed in the characters and what was happening to them. This was also so hauntingly written that I was glued to each word. It makes a lot of sense as to why this book won the National Book Award for 2017. If you want to read something full of tension, that moves so quickly, and written so beautifully, this is worth checking out.

Mar 08, 2018

This is one of those books where it seems like nothing happens. Subtle, I guess it's subtle. I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and I will probably forget I ever read it for those reasons.

Feb 28, 2018

This book is multi-layered.
On the surface, it is the story of a poor, dysfunctional family living amidst contemporary racism.
While the use of magical realism sometimes felt like it slowed down the pace of the story, it was a wonderful addition that forced you to more slowly digest the enormity of the violence felt by the community over the years.
There is so much symbolism - most of which I missed. I'm sure this will be a wonderful book to analyze in lit classes.

Plot summary: A 13 year old bi-racial boy lives (and cares for) his toddler sister, his emotionally distant and cruel mother, his loving black grandparents. He is estranged from his white grandparents, and his white father is in prison.
The mother, children, and a friend drive to pick up the father when he is released from prison, the same prison his grandfather was sent to years before for a crime he really didn't commit.
Upon their return, they try but fail to reunite with the white grandparents.
The ghost of a boy violently killed years ago in prison and the boy's uncle follow the characters and help pull out the history of racism and violence.
Many more ghosts are encountered in the very end. With the toddler's help, the ghosts are able to finally rest - indicating hope.

Feb 26, 2018

I know that I was supposed to love this novel, but I just couldn't deal with the content. The crushing sense of despair of the drug addled mother, and the craven sense of doom that pervaded the story just got to me. I had to stop reading before the end, and for that I'm sorry, but I couldn't continue.

Feb 15, 2018

Jesmyn Ward has quickly become my new writer crush. I could hardly wait to read all of her works. And they never disappoint. Now waiting semi-patiently for the next one.
Note: I tried to give this 5 stars, but was unable to correct. This book is THAT good!

Feb 13, 2018

One of those stories that stay with you. I felt the ending to be underwhelming, there was so much build up to the climax and I felt nearly abandoned by how quickly it ended afterwards. These characters and their stories will stay with you long after the last page is read.

Feb 11, 2018

A heartbreaking comment on the corrosive nature of poverty has on Black bodies, specifically on those inhabited by young man Jojo, his mother and his sister. Told through flashback, too, is the memory of a boy who was destroyed while living in a Southern work prison, and the act of mercy performed by his friend. Makes the assertion that, by and large, life for African Americans has not improved over the last 70 years.

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Mar 17, 2018

ranvapa thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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