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Salvage the Bones A Novel (Paperback)

Author:  Jesmyn Ward
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Learn more about Salvage the Bones:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 1608196267
ISBN-13: 9781608196265
Sku: 227826687
Publish Date: 4/24/2012
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.5H x 5.25L x 1T
Pages:  256
See more in Family Life
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 revelatory, real, and muscled with poetry.
From the Publisher:
A Washington Post Notable Fiction Book for 2011
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. While 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 comprise the novel's framework yield to the final day and Hurricane Katrina, the unforgettable family at the novel's heart--motherless children sacrificing for each other as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce--pulls itself up to struggle for another day. A wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bone is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.
Jesmyn Ward brings "narrative ruthlessness" to her second novel set in the fictional Mississippi Gulf Coast town Bois Sauvage. This small, depressed town is where 14-year-old Esch Batiste has grown up with her three brothers--Randall, who dreams of a basketball scholarship that will help him leave home; Skeet, who trains his beloved pit bull China to fight; and Junior, who is only seven and just wants to be a kid. Since her mother died in childbirth, Esch looks after Junior, while also helping her father out around the house. But right now, she's got a lot on her mind: Esch just found out thanks to a stolen test that she is pregnant. And then there is the storm that everyone says is coming, Katrina. Ward brings a sense of poetry, tragedy, and urgency to her story, set during a compressed timeframe leading up to a disaster that redefined life in the Gulf Coast region and left a wake of death, loss, and heartbreak in its path.


"Esch traces in the minutiae of every moment of every scene of her life the thin lines between passion and violence, love and hate, life and death, and though her voice threatens to overpower the story, it does a far greater service to the book by giving its cast of small lives a huge resonance." 05/23/2011

"SALVAGE THE BONES, the 2011 National Book Award winner for fiction, is a taut, wily novel, smartly plotted and voluptuously written. It feels fresh and urgent, but it's an ancient, archetypal tale. Think of Noah or Gilgamesh or any soggy group of humans and dogs huddled together, waiting out an apocalyptic act of God or weather. It's an old story--of family honor, revenge, disaster--and it's a good one. As Arnold Schoenberg said, 'There is still much good music that can be written in C major.' And Jesmyn Ward makes beautiful music, plays deftly with her reader's expectations: where we expect violence, she gives us sweetness. When we brace for beauty, she gives us blood." - Parul Sehgal 01/01/2012

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