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Jesmyn Ward

Goodreads Author


member since
April 2014

About this author

Jesmyn Ward is the author of Where the Line Bleeds, Salvage the Bones, and Men We Reaped. She is a former Stegner Fellow (Stanford University) and Grisham Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is an associate professor of Creative Writing at Tulane University.

Her work has appeared in BOMB, A Public Space and The Oxford American.

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Jesmyn Ward It depends on the sentence. Some sentences come to me whole and true, their rhythms already intact. These take seconds to write. Other sentences,…moreIt depends on the sentence. Some sentences come to me whole and true, their rhythms already intact. These take seconds to write. Other sentences, especially those occurring at the end of a chapter or at the end of a book or at the beginning of a chapter or a book, take much more work. I can work on these sentences for months before they sound right. (less)
Average rating: 3.81 · 18,152 ratings · 3,034 reviews · 4 distinct works · Similar authors
Salvage the Bones
3.78 of 5 stars 3.78 avg rating — 14,163 ratings — published 2010 — 23 editions
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Men We Reaped
3.97 of 5 stars 3.97 avg rating — 3,762 ratings — published 2013 — 10 editions
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Where the Line Bleeds
3.64 of 5 stars 3.64 avg rating — 220 ratings — published 2006 — 8 editions
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Cattle Haul
3.57 of 5 stars 3.57 avg rating — 7 ratings — published 2012
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Revision is kicking my ass, and this song is helping me through the rough spots. It's an elixir of a few of my favorite things: Andre 3000 and Frank Ocean (artistic Southern boys), haunting melodies, allusions to space, sex, and an esoteric, violent sensei who must be Pai Mei. Enjoy.

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“I think my love for books sprang from my need to escape the world I was born into, to slide into another where words were straightforward and honest, where there was clearly delineated good and evil, where I found girls who were strong and smart and creative and foolish enough to fight dragons, to run away from home to live in museums, to become child spies, to make new friends and build secret gardens.”
Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped

“it is the way that all girls who only know one boy move. Centered as if the love that boy feels for them anchors them deep as a tree's roots, holds them still as the oaks, which don't uproot in hurricane wind. Love as certainty.”
Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones

“We tried to outpace the thing that chased us, that said: You are nothing. We tried to ignore it, but sometimes we caught ourselves repeating what history said, mumbling along, brainwashed: I am nothing. We drank too much, smoked too much, were abusive to ourselves, to each other. We were bewildered. There is a great darkness bearing down on our lives, and no one acknowledges it.”
Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped


Which Bookmarks Selections from the March/April 2012 issue would you like to read as one of our April/May group reads?

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