Best-selling author Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award for this poignant and poetic novel. Unfolding over 12 days, the story follows a poor family living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With Hurricane Katrina bearing down on them, the Batistes struggle to maintain their community and familial bonds amid the storm and the stark poverty surrounding them.
"Beautiful With No Holds Barred"
National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin's 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping-off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.
In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life - to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why? And as she began to write about the experience of living through all the dying, she realized the truth - and it took her breath away. Her brother and her friends all died because of who they were and where they were from, because they lived with a history of racism and economic struggle that fostered drug addiction and the dissolution of family and relationships.
"Wow. I thought I was the only one."
A stunning debut novel from Jesmyn Ward, Where the Line Bleeds is a rich tale of twins raised by their grandmother in a stiflingly poor rural community on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Upon graduating from high school, growing tensions between brothers Joshua and Christophe test their loyalties—and a violent altercation forever changes their lives.
A hurricane is building, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. He's a hard drinker, and it isn't often he worries about the family. As the 12 days that make up the novel's framework yield to a dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family - a clan of motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce - pulls itself up to face another day.