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Jan 05

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Cover picture for Sing, Unburied, Sing

 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man.  He doesn't lack in fathers to study, chief among them his black grandfather, Pop.  But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent white father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his grandfather Big Joseph, who won't acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

When his father is released from prison, Jojo's mother packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and and Parchman Farm, the state penitentiary.  At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering.  He, too, has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

In Jesmyn Ward's first novel since her National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, she brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first century America.

 

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