Jesmyn Ward

March 11, 2013
07:30 PM - 08:30 PM
Cultural Events
Shirley Recital Hall, Elberson Fine Arts Center

In Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward gives us the Batiste family: Esch, a pregnant 14-year-old, her teenage brothers and their alcoholic father, who are watching Hurricane Katrina brew over the Gulf. Drawing on her own experiences as a survivor of Katrina, Ward offers a troubling but ultimately empowering tale of familial bonds in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Reception follows talk.

Salvage the Bones won the 2011 National Book Award for Fiction and the American Library Association’s Alex Award. Ward has been called “fearless and toughly lyrical” (The Library Journal). Her unflinching portrayals of young black men and women struggling to thrive in a South ravaged by poverty and natural disaster have been praised for their “graphic clarity” (The Boston Globe) and “hugeness of heart” (O: The Oprah Magazine). Ward’s precise and graceful narratives make her a fitting heir to the rich literary tradition of the American South.

Ward received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she won five Hopwood Awards for her fiction, essays and drama. She held a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University from 2008-2010, and served as the Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi during the following year. Ward currently teaches creative writing at the University of Southern Alabama in Mobile. 

Sponsored by the Office of Cultural Events. Recommended for a mature audience.

Gail Adams