Salvage the Bones

Salvage the Bones : A Novel

3.86 (25,354 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Winner of the National Book Award

Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award winner and author of Sing, Unburied, Sing, delivers a gritty but tender novel about family and poverty in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina.

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn't show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; she's fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull's new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting.

As the twelve days that make up the novel's framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family--motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce--pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 139.7 x 210.82 x 25.4mm | 340.19g
  • Bloomsbury Press
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1608195228
  • 9781608195220
  • 157,331

Review quote

"The novel's hugeness of heart and fierceness of family grip and hold on like [a] pit bull."--"O: The Oprah Magazine"" ""A pitch-perfect account of struggle and community in the rural South... Though the characters in "Salvage the Bones" face down Hurricane Katrina, the story isn't really about the storm. It's about people facing challenges, and how they band together to overcome adversity."-- "BookPage """ "Searing.... Despite the brutal world it depicts, "Salvage the Bones" is a beautiful read. Ward's redolent prose conjures the magic and menace of the southern landscape."--"Dallas Morning News"

"This book is impossibly beautiful."--OxfordAmerican.org

"Ward uses fearless, toughly lyrical language to convey this family's close-knit tenderness, the sheer bloody-minded difficulty of rural African American life, and what it's like when those hurrican winds sledge-hammer you and the water rises faster than you can stand up. It's an eye-opening heartbreaker that ends in hope. Highl
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About Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and is currently an associate professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the editor of the anthology The Fire This Time and the author of the memoir Men We Reaped and the novels Where the Line Bleeds and Sing, Unburied, Sing, a finalist for the National Book Award. A 2017 MacArthur Fellow in Fiction, Ward lives in DeLisle, Mississippi.
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Rating details

25,354 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 29% (7,363)
4 40% (10,026)
3 22% (5,676)
2 7% (1,697)
1 2% (592)
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