On Saturday, December 17, at Lemuria Books in Jackson, Mississippi, I had the honor and pleasure to meet National Book Award winner and Mississippi native Jesmyn Ward. Ward is the author of Salvage the Bones and Where the Line Bleeds. She is only 34 years old and is already a prestigious author.
I asked Ward how it felt to win the National Book Award. She said she still cannot believe it. She is still overwhelmed and keeps thinking one day she will wake up and it will all have been a dream. There was a great crowd at Lemuria of readers who wanted to meet this remarkable young woman. She was humble, friendly, and smiling. She took up time with everyone, inscribing and lining her novels.
After the signing, Ward read from Salvage the Bones in Lemuria’s Dot Com Building. Unfortunately, I could not stay to hear her, but I heard she has a wonderful speaking voice. That’s good, because I believe Ward will win many awards; in fact, the National Book Award is just one of many for this talented young Mississippi writer.
If you have not yet picked up Salvage the Bones, I urge you to do so. It is very real, it is heart-wrenching, it is well-written, and it is powerful. While you’re at it, also pick up her first novel, Where the Line Bleeds. Immerse yourself into Ward’s writing. You will be glad you did.