Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward
An intimate portrait of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle, Sing, Unburied, Sing examines the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power – and limitations – of family bonds.
Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. His mother, Leonie, is in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is black and her children’s father is white. Embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances, she wants to be a better mother, but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use.
When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of 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.
Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing brings the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first century America. It is a majestic new work from an extraordinary and singular author.
Thoughts: No one can write Southern fiction like Jesmyn Ward. NO. ONE. This story is gut wrenching, beautifully written, and deserving of all the accolades it has received so far. I found myself crying alone in a coffee shop when I finished it.... words fail me at how amazing this work is so I am not going to even attempt a review on it. I will say that to read it is to experience complete head to toe emotion. There is so much to take in and process between the symbolism , the biblical over tones, the commentary on racism and proverty..... Ward gives voice to all these topics in a way that I have never read before and she moves me so profoundly that I can not even articulate it. This book was absolutely a Top 2017 Read for me and should be on everyone's shelf. ALL. THE. STARS.