Book Talk: Sing, UnBuried, Sing.

Sing, Unburied, Sing.


Jesmyn Ward

2007 Scribner

In the Summer of 2018 while writing my own novel(s) during my travel in the South, I began only reading authors mainly in, from, or books written in the south as well. Particularly Mississippi, Mobile/Alabama, and New Orleans. Though Faulkner rereads are on my list and even begun, I didn’t want to limit myself to the old and well-known. I wanted to read those I could truly know of my own generation. My own life and time. My own south even if possible. My own generation of writers and literature. I wanted who was now. In this I came to a book that had been on my To Read list for some time that I had not yet caught up to, I found it in the only Indie bookstore of Biloxi while there and contributing to local, indie, and Biloxi economy (still struggling from Katrina and more recently from Hurricane Nate of 2017) on my travels I bought the book at full new price. A Mississippi author whose book took place in Mississippi as well. In a raw and different way unread, unwritten. The closest to this type of writing of the Black community having been by men. And even then this was written not as one leaving, or as a man, but one who came home, and as a woman of color. And from the south. There were too many reasons not to read this book, and too many I couldn’t put it down for once I was reading. The style, the story, the song, the words, the description. I was there. I felt it. I cried. My hart clenched. And I was in aw as a writer of a writer. Jesmyn Ward and her book Sing, Unburied, Sing. 

To add to my own five book series in the south while reading southern authors I plan to read Ward’s two other books, Where The Line Bleeds and Salvage The Bones, while I have since already found, in the town only just below her childhood town, Pass Christian and an Indie Gulf Coast literary gem two more I purchased with my tea one hot Mississippi July afternoon, her memoir The Men We Reaped, and her book of southern stories gathered, The Fire This Time. I am already nearly finished with one and itching to get to the next of this Mississippi authors amazing pages. She has read at the Pass Christian Books store and is soon to be at the Mississippi Book Festival this month. 

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