“Sing, Unburied, Sing is built around an arduous car trip when a black woman and her children drive to a state penitentiary to pick up their white father. The narration passes back and forth between the convict’s 13-year-old son and his drug-addled mother, Leonie.”
Featured in Washington Post’s Best 10 Books of 2017.
“Ward’s third novel is her second to win the National Book Award for Fiction. The book focuses on JoJo, a biracial teenage boy in Mississippi whose mother is erratic and conflicted, and whose father is about to be released from prison.”
Featured in LA Times’ Best Fiction books of 2017.
“Ward’s greatest feat here is achieving a level of empathy that is all too often impossible to muster in real life, but that is genuine and inevitable in the hands of a writer of such lyric imagination.”
Featured in New York Times’ Best 10 Books of 2017.
“‘I like to think I know what death is.’ With that first line, Jesmyn Ward’s latest novel takes off like a shot, with 13-year-old Jojo, stoic and old beyond his years, leading the way.”
Featured in NPR’s Book Concierge Great Reads of 2017.
The awards, recognition and praise that this novel by Jasmyn Ward has received is truly astounding. Sing, Unburied, Sing is story of pain and yearning, and introduces themes such as love, grief and the aching reality of life.
This author is no stranger to high praise for her work on her National Book Award–winning Salvage the Bones was highly acclaimed as well. In this novel, the unique American writer gives an intimate portrait of a family’s struggling and unfailing hope as they journey through Mississippi’s past and present. The journey reveals ugly truths and the power and limitations of the bond that only family has.
Rich with Ward’s distinctive voice, the tales comes to life as Jojo, a thirteen year old boy is trying to understand what it means to be a man. This understanding is confused by the solid foundation that his black grandfather has set while he is fascinated by his absent white father who is being released from prison and his absent white grandfather who refuses to acknowledge his Jojo’s existence.
Jojo’s mother is a drug addict and a series of life-changing events are set into motion when Jojo’s father is set free. Jojo is about to learn about a legacy filled with love, violence and regret.
This is truly an unforgettably family tale.
— Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction
— A Time Magazine Best Novel of the Year and a New York Times Top 10 Of 2017
— Finalist for the Kirkus Prize
— Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal
— Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017
— Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award