A searing and profound odyssey bringing the archetypal road novel into rural twenty-first century America. An essential contribution to American literature.
Jojo and his toddler sister, Kayla, live with their grandparents, Mam and Pop, and their drug-addicted mother, Leonie, on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Leonie is simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high; Mam is dying of cancer; and quiet, steady Pop tries to run the household and teach Jojo how to be a man. When the white father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out to collect him on a voyage rife with danger and promise.
In prose layered with the textures of the south, Sing, Unburied, Sing journeys through Mississipi’s past and present. Using visceral and eloquent language that scalds with its raw power and beauty, Jesmyn Ward grapples unflinchingly with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and explores the power – and limitations – of the bonds of family and community. An epic tale of hope and struggle and a searing and profound odyssey, this is is a majestic new work from a writer at the height of her powers.