Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2017
8 hours 22 minutes

A finalist for the Kirkus Prize, Andrew Carnegie Medal, Aspen Words Literary Prize, and a New York Times bestseller, this majestic, stirring, and widely praised novel from two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward, the story of a family on a journey through rural Mississippi, is a “tour de force” (O, The Oprah Magazine) and a timeless work of fiction that is destined to become a classic.

Jesmyn Ward’s historic second National Book Award–winner is “perfectly poised for the moment” (The New York Times), an intimate portrait of three generations of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. “Ward’s writing throbs with life, grief, and love… this book is the kind that makes you ache to return to it” (Buzzfeed).

Jojo is thirteen years old and trying to understand what it means to be a man. He doesn’t lack in fathers to study, chief among them his Black grandfather, Pop. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager.

His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. She is an imperfect mother in constant conflict with herself and those around her. She is Black and her children’s father is White. She wants to be a better mother but can’t put her children above her own needs, especially her drug use. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances.

When the children’s father is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and drives north to the heart of Mississippi and Parchman Farm, the State Penitentiary. At Parchman, there is another thirteen-year-old boy, the ghost of a dead inmate who carries all of the ugly history of the South with him in his wandering. He too has something to teach Jojo about fathers and sons, about legacies, about violence, about love.

Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic and unforgettable family story and “an odyssey through rural Mississippi’s past and present” (The Philadelphia Inquirer).
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Diana C

The voices we so believable as the actual characters that I kept forgetting I was listening to a novel. The lives of the characters are tragic and yet told with such empathy. I miss those characters. I hope there is a book two or a movie.

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Monica M

This book was personal and Soulful and intimate and devastating and uplifting. The narration was excruciatingly beautiful. Its tragic , its sweet , it's infuriating and justifying. I just loved it absolutely loved it.... I miss the book already.....

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Linda C

Beautifully written and narrated. Enjoyed every minute.

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Meka M

Awesome! This book is almost too good for words. The authors words combined with the narrators' talent made me zone out of everything around me and become one with the story. This was my first audio book and what a truly incredible experience it was!

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Ruchi G.

The only thing that I did not like about this book is it was over to soon...

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Melodie S.

Could not stop listening to this book! I felt so sorry for the children and was compelled to listen to chapters over just to hear the narration over again.

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Danielle D

Loved the reading of this book. I could listen to Rutina Wesley read all day. I was sucked into the story by the characters. It was interesting the way time gets bent a bit in this book. I'm transplanted in rural south of the past. Actual history was interwoven into the story to give a glimpse of what it was like at Parchman, which I just learned is a real place. I like the analogy of dealing with ghosts from the past. The thing I loved most is the author's ability to bring me into a moment and make me feel every bit of it.

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Aidan C.

Good reading just a little choppy at some point.

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David P

The female narrator was terrible. Over the top angry and dramatic. Content of book was great.

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