Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward

Oh, this book.


I didn’t really have much of an idea of what to expect going into this one, and I’m glad. This is a story of family, and heritage, and ghosts, and racism, and growing up, and the bad things that happen to us, all of us — told in illuminate, sparkling prose. Sing, Unburied, Sing reads like poetry.


This is the story of JoJo, a newly thirteen year old boy, and his mother — a woman preoccupied by her addictions and ghosts of the past — and their various other family members. An exploration of life and death, Jasmyn Ward’s storytelling ability is sharp as a tac, refined to perfection. From an editing standpoint, this novel has been whittled down to the bare essentials: nothing more or less is needed.


To say too much about this one is to risk spoiling it, or at least failing to do it justice. I don’t think this will be my favorite book of the year, but it’s up there. And this is an author I will be looking into in the future. Worth all the hype.