rachel's Reviews > Men We Reaped

Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
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This is the memoir to read if you want to read about essentially American problems and struggle; if you want to read about one woman coping with cavernous grief, rendered in unsentimental prose (one of the hardest subjects to write with restraint); if you want to understand the detrimental effects of racism on both a systemic and an individual level, as well as the interweavings of racial and class inequality. I have no doubt that it's the most important memoir we'll be seeing for a long time. This book illuminates the consequences of racism that many people continue to deny (e.g. why -- or even that -- black men and white men receive different sentences for the same crimes, the effect of cutting welfare on struggling black families and the feeling of being trapped in the life you are given when you are in survival mode and can't make ends meet).

I'm glad Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award and is a literary darling. This book deserves the widest audience it can get. My review is a bit sterile, but it is not. It's very real and honest and beautiful.
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Reading Progress

August 3, 2013 – Shelved
August 3, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
April 23, 2014 – Started Reading
April 25, 2014 –
page 70
25.74% "Jesmyn Ward is slowly, surely tearing me up with her quiet grief. Wow. This is going to be one of the great memoirs I can already tell."
April 27, 2014 –
page 131
48.16% "Never want this to end."
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: black-lit
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: heartbreakers
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: own
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: of-the-south-or-its-environs
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: social-justice
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: this-is-america
April 27, 2014 – Shelved as: working-class
April 27, 2014 – Finished Reading
May 1, 2014 – Shelved as: true-story

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