• Where the Line Bleeds See large image

    Where the Line Bleeds (Paperback) By (author) Jesmyn Ward

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    DescriptionWe are so thrilled by Jesmyn Ward winning the National Book Award for her second novel, Salvage the Bones (Bloomsbury). When the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote that Jesmyn Ward's first novel Where the Line Bleeds "heralds good things to come," we can only assume it envisioned Ms. Ward's most recent honor. Essence selected Where the Line Bleeds as its book club's recommended read, praising Ward's "lushly descriptive prose" and "prodigious talent and fearless portrayal of a world too often overlooked." The Literary Fiction Review saw her potential as well saying, "Jesmyn Ward's debut novel immediately sets her apart as a young novelist to watch closely." We hope readers enjoy this book as much as we have and begin spreading the word about Ms. Ward's talents. Congratulations again!Vivid from first page to last. A major talent here.--Nicholas Delbanco, author of Spring and Fall and The Count of Concord Starkly beautiful...a fresh new voice in American fiction.--Publishers Weekly (Starred review) Jesmyn Ward is an important new voice in American fiction. Her writing is distinguished by a simple, patient, and utterly focused attentiveness to the physical details of her characters and their lives. The strength and elegance of her debut novel's story is timeless, but made new in the unfamiliarity (to most from outside this region) of the world she creates country, but contemporary; poor and black, but rural, not urban. Set in a rural town on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the book tells the story of the fraternal twins Joshua and Christophe, who are graduating from high school as the novel begins. Both boys anticipate and dread their lives as adults. Joshua finds a job working as a dock laborer on the Gulf of Mexico, unloading cargo. But Christophe has less luck: Unable to find a job, and desperate to alleviate his family's poverty, he starts to sell drugs. Joshua does not approve, but his clumsy concern fractures the twins' relationship. When their long-missing addict father reappears, he provokes a shocking confrontation between himself and the brothers one that will ultimately damn or save them. Where the Line Bleeds is unforgettable for the intense clarity of how the main relationships are rendered: the love but growing tension between the twins; their devotion to the slowly failing grandmother who raised them, the obligation they feel to her; and most of all, the alternating pain, bewilderment, anger, and yearning they feel for the parents who abandoned them their mother for a new life in the big city of Atlanta, and their father for drugs, prison, and even harsher debasements. Jesmyn Ward herself grew up in a small Mississippi town near New Orleans, and this book makes palpable her deep knowledge and love of this world: black, Creole, poor, drug-riddled, yet shored by strong family ties and a sense of community that balances hope and fatalism, grief and triumph."


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