Author Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award for her newest novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing. It’s the story of a family in rural Mississippi that has drawn comparisons to The Odyssey and examines the brutal history of the South. Ward gave a fantastic interview on the book to NPR’S Terry Gross on Fresh Air, which can be listened to or read here.
Although Ward is only 40, this is the second time she’s won the prize. In 2011 she won for the outstanding Salvage the Bones. It also examines issues of race, poverty and family in Missisippi, but this time the action centers on Hurricane Katrina. Ward herself grew up in Mississippi in a town that her family has lived in for generations called DeLisle (in her fiction it’s called Bois Sauvage). The author examines the role the places plays in her fiction in this fascinating article called Writing Mississippi.